April 24, 2014

Tag Archives: Jerry Maguire

“We Bought A Zoo” reactions hit the Web

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: In what has become an open season of anticipated sneak peeks, Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo” took over multiplexes across American Saturday night to unveil his upcoming family comedy … nearly a month before its official Christmas Day release.
What spurred the movement? Was it confidence on Team Fox’s part to show a film they believed would generate strong word-of-mouth? Or was it an attempt to get ahead of what’s looking like an incredibly crowded Christmas frame, where audiences will have to choose between two Steven Spielberg films, David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” remake, Tom Cruise’s latest “Mission: Impossible,” and the doomsday thriller “The Darkest Hour.”
No matter the strategy, for the most part, the early sneak worked. Crowe’s new film is being judged against his last narrative feature, “Elizabethtown,” and from there, there’s no place to go but up. Curious patrons probably went in wondering if this was a step back toward the edgier filmmaking Crowe did with “Singles,” “Almost Famous” or “Vanilla Sky.” Yet this appears to be, as Drew McWeeny on HitFix puts it, “a big fat right down the middle mainstream family movie.”
And that’s one place Crowe hasn’t necessarily treaded too often. A critics’ darling (for the most part), Crowe isn’t a box-office force. Only “Sky” and the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” have topped $100 million over the course of his career. After that, “Almost Famous” is his top earner with $32M.
“Zoo” could end up being his most commercial film, one with the potential to hit big during a movie-friendly, family-oriented holiday.
But critical opinion wasn’t the point of Saturday’s sneaks. Crowe reportedly wanted Joe and Jane Public to weigh in on the drama, then post their reactions to Tout, a social-media sharing format. The Twitter feed @WeBoughtAZoo stayed busy all evening retweeting audience reactions to the film. Tout slowly filled with video responses from savvy patrons. And Crowe, himself, solicited feedback on his Web site, TheUncool.com.
This appears to be a marketing win for 20th Century Fox, as feedback from the screenings was largely positive. We’ll see next month if the early preview can generate ticket sales for “Zoo,” as competition stiffens from heavy hitter at other studios.
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Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson in first “We Bought a Zoo” trailer – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the frenzy surrounding the Toronto International Film Festival draws to a close, I’m going to do a comprehensive piece on the “unknowns,” the Oscar hopefuls that have yet to glide across our radars. I’ll turn my attention to Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady” and Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” for sure.
And then there’s Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which I’m starting to expect has the potential to make a bigger splash than maybe we think at this early stage of the race.
Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” didn’t live up to his standards, and it helps us forget that he’s responsible for such powerful and engaging films as “Say Anything,” “Almost Famous” and “Jerry Maguire.” That last one — which earned Cuba Gooding Jr. a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as well as nominations for Best Actor (Tom Cruise), Film Editing (Joe Hutshing), Writing (Crowe) and Picture — comes to mind watching the first trailer for “Zoo.” The film stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in the story of a man who moves his family to the rural confines of Southern California to renovate a failing zoo.
The trailer’s below. It has all of the elements we’ve come to want in a Crowe film, from an endearing lead character with adorable kids to the perfectly selected Tom Petty track “Don’t Come Around Here No More” as his music bed. Can “We Bought a Zoo” find its way into the Oscar race? Is it even an awards film, or just a crowd-pleaser from a gifted storyteller who has shown over the years that he’s capable of spinning a winning tale?
“Zoo” opens everywhere on Dec. 23.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgnhnwOsNVM
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Oscars: Will Natalie Portman Lose Oscar?

By Paul Sheehan at GoldDerby.com
HollywoodNews.com: As the saying goes, “Win on Saturday, lose on Sunday.” This axiom refers to the less-than-impressive track record of Indie Spirit winners repeating at the Academy Awards. Of the 48 Indie Spirit acting champs to contend the following day at the Oscars, only 10 of them have won there as well.
Last year, two of the four acting champs celebrated double victories — Best Actor Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) and Supporting Actress Mo’Nique (“Precious”). Spirit winner Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) lost the Best Actress Oscar to Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) while Woody Harrelson was defeated by Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”). Two years ago, just one of the three Spirit winners in the running at the Oscars prevailed — Supporting Actress champ Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Christina Barcelona”). Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) was edged out of Best Actor by Sean Penn (“Milk”) while Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”) lost Best Actress to Kate Winslet (“The Reader”). Spirits supporting actor winner James Franco (“Milk”) was not nominated at the Oscars.
The trend of the Spirits winner also contending at the Oscars dates back to the first Indies in 1985 when Geraldine Page (“The Trip to Bountiful”) won Best Actress with both groups. Since then, Frances McDormand (“Fargo,” 1996), Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry,” 1999), and Charlize Theron (“Monster,” 2003) have repeated in this race. The 11 Spirit Best Actress winners who lost at the Oscars were:
1987: Sally Kirkland (“Anna”) lost to Cher (“Moonstruck”);
1990: Angelica Huston (“The Grifters”) lost to Kathy Bates (“Misery”);
1995: Elisabeth Shue (“Leaving Las Vegas”) lost to Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”);
1997: Julie Christie (“Afterglow”) lost to Helen Hunt (“As Good As It Gets”);
2000: Ellen Burstyn (“Requiem for a Dream”) lost to Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”);
2001: Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”) lost to Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”);
2002: Julianne Moore (“Far From Heaven”) lost to Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”);
2004: Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) lost to Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby”);
2005: Felicity Huffman (“Transamerica”) lost to Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”);
2007: Ellen Page (“Juno”) lost to Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”); and
2009: Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) lost to Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”).
Of the 15 Spirit Best Actor champs to compete at the Oscars only two — Bridges and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote,” 2005) — prevailed there as well. The Spirit winners who were Oscar losers were:
1986: James Woods (“Salvador”) lost to Paul Newman (“The Color of [...]

Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’: Beaten to a Pulp By Adam Sandler

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: Tom Cruise had a bad Friday, the third day of release for “Knight and Day.” The film made $6.35 million, versus over $14.5 million for Adam Ssndler’s “Grown Ups.” The former film took three days to make a little less than what the latter did in one night.
Cruise was never a huge box office draw on his own. His biggest hits, “The Firm,” “Rain Man,” and “A Few Good Men,” were ensemble pieces with talented supporting casts and well thought out, well executed scripts.
Films like “Vanilla Sky” and “The Last Samurai” were not good, and not blockbusters. They averaged $100 million domestically, but cost a lot, too.
Cruise’s big films were always the franchise entries: the Mission Impossible series, the Bruckheimer films.”Eyes Wide Shut” was a financial disaster. Steven Spielberg batted .500 with him–”Minority Report” did about $135, “War of the Worlds” about $235 million.
In his long resume, only “Jerry Maguire” stands out as an artistic and commercial achievement with $152 million and a Cruise Oscar nom. It’s Cruise’s best film, hands down. His other Best Actor Oscar nomination was for “Born on the Fourth of July.” It brought in only took in $79 mil.
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“Knight and Day” fails to go as dark as it could

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: I can only wonder what kind of film James Mangold’s “Knight and Day” would have been had it just been another action vehicle for a Tom Cruise (pre-2005) who was not in the midst of a PR-mandated comeback. Despite the fact that Cruise’s pictures have done just fine since his 2005 couch-jumping, Scientology-hyping PR-meltdown, there is a perception that Cruise has lost his luster as a genuine movie star. So along comes “Knight and Day,” a variation on the ‘wronged-man on the run with quasi-kidnapped female’ story, which theoretically casts Tom Cruise as a borderline-satirical version on the Cruise persona (insanely-driven action hero with a touch with the ladies). As a satire on the stereotypical Tom Cruise action picture, it has its moments and its charm. But the film lacks the courage of its convictions, as well as the ability to take the story into territory that a more fearless Cruise of the 1990s would crash headlong into without thinking twice.
A token amount of plot: June Havens (Cameron Diaz) is returning home in order to attend her sister’s wedding. However, a chance encounter with handsome and charming stranger Roy Miller (Tom Cruise) sets her on a path into danger and international intrigue. As the stakes mount and the body count rises, June finds herself questioning who is on her side, who is using her, and who is trying to kill her. Can she trust this apparent super spy with her life? Or is the would-be 007 a rogue agent who has gone completely insane and/or is working with nefarious forces?
The film works primarily as a pure action picture, with several glorious set-pieces that are completely absurd in their construction, yet oddly plausible because so much of the action seems practical. It is no small irony that action scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in a “Looney Tunes” cartoon achieve a certain realism purely by staging them the old-fashioned way. What a delight to see real stunt-work, real fight choreography, and actual vehicle destruction on a grand scale. Another oddity rests in the fact that Tom Cruise, once Hollywood’s preeminent superstar, has crafted something that resembles a B-movie in comparison to the more outlandish, fantasy-based entertainments of recent summers. The film is not cheap, and it certainly never looks cheap, but there is a quaint old-fashioned feel to the couple-on-the-run narrative and the practical action scenes.
But the [...]

Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’ opens to a mere $3.8M

HollywoodNews.com: It’s bad news for Tom Cruise. “Knight and Day” took in only $3.8 million last night at the box office. The $100 million film now stands to make around $20 million, if 20th Century Fox is lucky, for the five day opening run.
What makes this worse than ever: Cruise’s last movie, the godawful “Valkyrie,” made $8.5 million on its opening day. Of course, it was Christmas, but still…”Valkyrie” didn’t even have Cameron Diaz in a bikini or fancy exotic locations.
After the millions Fox has spent to promote this thing, especially overseas, “K&D” is a disappointment, certainly. But there were warning signs, as I said last week: no U.S. premiere, and then the 500 sneak previews on Saturday.
Bad reviews didn’t help. “K&D” has registered only 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even those reviews counted as positive weren’t so good. They were stretching. And hyping “Jerry Maguire” in the TV ad quote has only made the studio seem more desperate.
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Matt Damon may take trip to the ‘Zoo.’

Hollywoodnews.com: Matt Damon might be signing on to Cameron Crowe’s Fox film “We Bought a Zoo.”
“Zoo” is an adaptation of a memoir by Benjamin Mee.
Damon would play Mee, who invested his nest egg into a broken-down zoo, replete with 200 exotic animals facing extinction.
As Mee takes on his eclectic career of tending to wild animals, he must also care for his wife who is dying of brain cancer.
The Hollywood Reporter believes “Zoo” is a departure from Damon’s recent string of action films a la “The Adjustment Bureau” and “The Bourne Identity.”
Crowe has a sharp creative ability to fuse both comedic and dramatic elements in a film, as seen in “Jerry Maguire.”
Crowe rewrote the “Zoo” script, which was originally handled by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”).
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Cameron Crowe circles “Zoo”

BY KEVIN CRUST
New York magazine’s Vulture is reporting that music-journalist-turned-filmmaker Cameron Crowe may be directing “We Bought a Zoo” in the near future. It’s an adaptation of a memoir by British writer Benjamin Mee and “The Devil Wears Prada” screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna has penned a script, but Crowe is likely to do some rewriting. “Zoo” recounts Mee’s experiences when he moved his family to a dilapidated mansion with an accompanying wildlife park in southwest England. The family took on the task of reviving the preserve but was devastated by the cancer prognosis and deteriorating health of Mee’s wife, Katherine.
Crowe took a critical and box-office drubbing with his last outing, 2005’s “Elizabethtown,” but is best known for the beloved 1989 teen romance “Say Anything,” the 1996 romantic comedy “Jerry Maguire” and the autobiographical 2001 “Almost Famous,” for which he won a best original screenplay Oscar. The latter film recently revived Crowe’s standing when it turned up on numerous best-of-decade lists. After establishing himself as an adolescent prodigy at Rolling Stone, he began his Hollywood career when he adapted his book “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”