August 30, 2016

Tag Archives: johnny depp

Kevin Smith’s “Yoga Hosers” gets a quirky Trailer

Nobody does things quite like Kevin Smith does. For some, that’s a negative, but I’m all about what Smith chooses to do as a filmmaker, along with what he does as a podcaster and just entertainer in general. Chasing Amy is one of my top three favorite movies of all time, and I’ve yet to see a film of his that I haven’t liked. The True North Trilogy of Canadian horror titles that he’s concentrating on is fairly interesting, as Tusk was very underrated. Next up is Yoga Hosers, which dropped a strange little Trailer yesterday. You can see that below at the end of the article, but right now I wanted to discuss the film a bit and Smith’s current cinematic choices as well. Come with me on this journey…starting now!
The flick, for those who don’t know, is a teenage girl themed horror comedy. Teens Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Melody Depp) work at a convenience store and mostly want to text and make the senior boys’ party, but when ancient evil Nazis rise, specifically foot tall ones made of bratwurst (played by Smith himself), they have to put their yoga skills to the test to save the day, with help from detective Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp). It sounds bonkers, but in the best way possible. Smith writes and directs, as well as edits the picture, with the eclectic ensemble cast also including Adam Brody, Austin Butler, Tony Hale, Stan Lee, Justin Long, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Mewes, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Tyler Posey, Ralph Garman, Genesis Rodriguez, and more. Yes, Smith cast his daughter as well as Depp’s, and that seems like part of the fun.
As a big fan of Smith’s, I’m looking forward to the insanity he has in store for us here. It kind of feels like his take on something in the realm of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which excites me quite a bit. Reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival weren’t too kind, but critics haven’t been his friend in some time. I disagreed with them on both Red State and Tusk, so there’s a good chance I’ll do the same once again here. Time will tell, but this Trailer is promising, since it just appears like Smith is having an infectious blast making it.
This True North Trilogy of his is an intriguing right turn for Smith’s career. He’s […]

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” will continue to print money for Disney

Disney certainly knows how to craft financially successful films. Especially when they take their animated classics and adapt them into live action features, the Mouse basically has a formula all but down pat. Opening this week, Alice Through the Looking Glass is the latest in that endeavor, one which was executed to tremendous effect recently with The Jungle Book. This one doesn’t appear to be nearly as strong a work, which makes sense considering the last installment in this now franchise was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which I didn’t care for one bit. Still, it was a hit, and I highly suspect that this one will be a hit as well.
The movie is, once again, a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, obviously. Taking place years after the first film, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is drawn back into Wonderland by her oppressed life in the real world as well as an issue with the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). You see, the Hatter is depressed, and Alice wants to help. As such, she time travels to attempt to save the day, literally doing battle with Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) in the process. Old friends and new ones are on hand for this CGI overload, which will probably appeal to children. James Bobin takes over for Burton as director, with the script written by Linda Woolverton. Other cast members include Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Rhys Ifans, Lindsay Duncan, Matt Lucas, Leo Bill, the late Alan Rickman, and more. Danny Elfman provides the score, while Colleen Atwood handled the costumes.

Reviews have been poor so far, but I doubt that will end up mattering much. The buzz was terrible for the first one and it became a huge hit. Odds are that this new outing will make a ton of money for Disney once more. It may even be helped by the recent good will generated by The Jungle Book, as opposed to whatever people seem to think about Alice in Wonderland. These live action remakes of their animated classics always print money, so this will be no exception. They’re hit or miss when it comes to quality, and this one is apparently a miss, but the wheels on the bus continue to go round and round, as it were.
Believe it or not, this is a legitimate awards contender. Not in the major categories of course, but the Academy will likely […]

Bruce Dern and Mark Ruffalo: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar now?

As you all know by now, plenty of folks in the industry can go a whole career without ever winning an Oscar. As such, that makes for a ton of heavyweights in Hollywood who are very overdue for wins. Much like I did last week with people who have never been nominated, I’m going to be citing today ten actors or actresses who have yet to win Oscars but deserve to already have one on their mantle. All of these previous nominees were in contention at some point this year, believe it or not, and many will hopefully be winners within the next few years. Keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion, but take a look below at who I think is most overdue a little gold man…

Here now are ten actors/actresses who are overdue for an Academy Award:
10. Carey Mulligan – It might surprise a lot of you to know that Mulligan only has one Oscar nomination, for her breakthrough performance in An Education. She seems like she’s been nominated more than that, right? Well, that hasn’t happened, and while Suffragette didn’t do it for her this year, it feels like many more nominations are in her future, and as such, a solid chance at a win. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t wind up with an Oscar one day.
9. Johnny Depp – For a bit, it seemed like Depp was going to finally win for his role this year in Black Mass. Mostly though, it served as a reminder that he’s out there and still without a victory. Depp has a pocket of supporters who always push him when he’s in an awards friendly vehicle, so while I might prefer his recent outings in Kevin Smith movies, he’s probably only one safe prestige project away from getting to that stage.
8. Ellen Page – Another talented actress with only one nomination, she potentially should have won for Juno, but since then has been shut out. Had Freeheld been more of a contender, I think Page not only would have gotten a Best Supporting Actress nomination, she’d have easily been the frontrunner. Her time is still to come, it seems, but never count her out…
7. Will Smith – Much like with Depp, but to a greater extent, it seemed at one point in 2015 like it was finally going to be Smith’s year. Concussion wound up getting […]

Which categories will be the most competitive this year?

Of the many things that you can consider when thinking about the Oscar race, one that I like to ponder from time to time is which categories will be the most competitive. I hinted at this in another piece this week, but certain categories are shaping up to be stronger than other ones. That being said, instead of looking at strengths and weaknesses, I figured today I’d see which ones seem like they’ll be the most competitive. That opens things up to more combine quality and quantity, as it were. This is a wide open year in general, so it’s only fitting that so many categories seem to be that way as well…
Below are the half dozen most competitive categories, as it stands right now:
6. Best Actress – After a bit of a drought, we have a group of Actress contenders that we can be quite proud of. Of course, who will win is wide open, but it’s not a situation where there’s only six or seven legitimate contenders for a nod. Vying for a nom here are the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Blythe Danner, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Saorise Ronan, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, and more. That’s ten right there. Nothing to sneeze at, right? It’s a tight race, and one that’s certainly among the most competitive that the Academy will have to offer us this year.
5. Best Visual Effects – Here’s a category that will really be an embarrassment of riches. Basically, there’s a bunch of different styles on display that voters will have to choose from. Contenders like Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, In the Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Walk, and more will be up for a nomination. Usually, this category has one or two frontrunners and then some also rans, but that’s not the case this year. I can see it going any number of different ways, and that’s a delight.
4. Best Supporting Actor – As jam packed as any category this year, Supporting Actor could be a photo finish. Among the large number of contenders, there are the likes of Paul Dano, Benicio del Toro, Bruce Dern, Joel Edgerton, Idris Elba, Sam Elliot, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Michael Keaton, Harvey Keitel, Seth Rogen, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Mark Rylance, and Jason Segel. That’s […]

A first crack at Golden Globe predictions

Now that we’re well into the fall months and about to enter the tail end of the 2015 movie release season, I wanted to take my first crack at some Golden Globe predictions. I’ll be mixing these in with Oscar predictions going forward, but early Globe picks are always interesting to me, especially since sometimes you’re still guessing category placement and just what the tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look like at the time. They’re almost impossible to accurately guess off the bat the first time around, but that little factoid has yet to stop me from trying all the same. Here goes nothing!
What you’ll notice below is that things more or less reflect how I see the Academy Awards going, but with some slight changes. Obviously, the Comedy or Musical categories open things up to some other contenders, though we won’t know for a bit still how certain contenders will decide to compete. We know that Joy is likely to go Drama, but The Big Short and The Martian, for example, are two that could go the Comedy route. I have pretty much the same winners here as with Oscar, with the exception of Ridley Scott winning Best Director, on the potential strength of The Martian going Comedy and winning Best Picture in that area and getting Matt Damon that Best Actor win as well. The Drama category at the Globes still is where the Best Picture winner for Oscar likely will come from, with Spotlight and Steve Jobs facing off for now, though The Revenant is an X factor spoiler here. We’ll have more HFPA analysis coming soon, but these predictions should suffice for now…
Here you go folks, my initial look at how the Golden Globe awards could shape up:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Joy
If there’s a sixth: Brooklyn
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. The Martian
2. Trainwreck
3. The Big Short
4. Love & Mercy
5. Our Brand is Crisis
If there’s a sixth: Grandma
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4. Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw
If there’s a sixth: Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
3. Bill Murray – Rock the Kasbah
4. John Cusack – Love & Mercy
5. Bill Hader – Trainwreck
If there’s a […]

“The Big Short”: An October Oscar predictions update

Happy Friday friends! It’s not only the end of the week, but the beginning of the month of October as well, so obviously it’s time for a new set of Academy Award predictions. It’ll be an interesting new set as well, considering the things that I’ve seen since last time. Honestly, with Miles Ahead debuting tomorrow at the New York Film Festival, the list of unseen titles is shrinking by the day. As such, there’s hopefully a bit of clarity in the race, while also suggesting which categories will be the stronger ones this year and which ones will be the weaker ones (in fact, look for a piece on that next week). Right now though, I’ll give you a quick preview and then dive right into these Oscar predictions!
The big things to keep in mind with this Academy Award nominations update is that I’ve seen Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs, and more firsthand. That can help clarify things a bit. What’s most noticeable here this time around is that Spotlight and Steve Jobs seem like the frontrunners for the major non acting categories right now (Aaron Sorkin especially seems like he could have Best Adapted Screenplay in the bag). I’ve also dropped Bridge of Spies from most categories, just to see how that feels. The new addition of note here is The Big Short, obviously, which I think could be our late year surprise. A lot will depend on how things like The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant do, but assuming they’re up to snuff, the one unexpected hit could be The Big Short. We’ll see, but it’s something to keep in mind…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Brooklyn
6. Room
7. The Martian
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. The Danish Girl
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 15. Son of Saul 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. Truth 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The Walk 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Trainwreck 27. Freeheld 28. The End of the Tour 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

“Black Mass” could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game

At one point, it seemed rather inevitable that Johnny Depp would one day win an Academy Award. He was a golden boy of sorts, but then Depp fell off the wagon a bit. The allure of playing Captain Jack Sparrow repeatedly and fooling around with Tim Burton in his various flights of fancy more or less, with the exception of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, removed him from the Oscar map. It’s been that way for a while now, but this week, Depp is back in a big way with Black Mass, his first legitimate awards vehicle in years. With that, he’s once again a contender in the Best Actor field.
The film is a look at notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and the alliance he had with the FBI, specifically with John Connolly. Depp plays Bulger and Joel Edgerton plays Connolly and we watch how they go from childhood acquaintances to partners in crime, almost literally. You see Bulger rise to power with his Winter Hill Gang and abuse his status as a protected informant, all while Connolly attempts to keep the feds from going after him. Scott Cooper directs this mob movie, the script is by Jez Butterworth and Mark Mallouk, while the cast is vast. In addition to Depp and Edgerton, we have the likes of Kevin Bacon, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Rory Cochrane, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Harbour, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, and Juno Temple. It’s a crowded ensemble, to say the least.

Obviously, the star here is Depp and he gets to do something less cartoonish for the first time in a while. Sure, I like him occasionally in those sorts of roles (notably in Kevin Smith’s Tusk), but he’s more suited to this sort of a ting. While I’ll confess to not being blown away by him in the same fashion as a number of my colleagues, I can easily appreciate why this performance is contention worthy. The same goes for Edgerton, as both play complex characters with questionable morals. In some ways, you can see how Bulger and Connolly became the characters that Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon respectively played in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, though this is far less flashy than that. It likely won’t be close to the Oscar play that one was either, but we shall see…
Speaking of awards, what’s […]

“Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for September

Now that we’re well into the month of September, it’s time to kick predictions into high gear. It’ll be twice a month now in terms of updates, especially now that we’re also knee deep in the fall festival season. I love this time of year so much, which makes this a pleasure, but still…it’s crunch time. You really want to start making these predictions as close to accurate as possible at this point, so while it’s still fun, it’s also work. As you’ll see below, I’ve made some changes in light of festivals like Telluride, Venice, and now the start of Toronto, with New York to come next week. Suffice to say, by the end of the month when I update these predictions, they’ll likely already be out of date.
The big thing to take note of here is that I’ve bumped down The Martian from winning in the major categories. Now, the film did just premiere at TIFF and the early word is rather terrific, so why did I do that? Well, some of the praise makes it seem more likely of a nominee than perhaps expected by others, but maybe less of a winner as well. We’ll see, but for now, I’m experimenting and backing off. I’m also doing it in favor of seeing how Our Brand is Crisis looks in the top spot. I’ll adjust if the word up north isn’t too favorable for that one, but right now, I’m trying that out. Time will tell how it looks, but I’ll change it up in a few weeks if it’s clear I’ve made a blunder…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now is my up date Academy Award predictions. Enjoy:
BEST PICTURE
1. Our Brand is Crisis
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Steve Jobs
5. Carol
6. The Martian
7. Spotlight
8. Joy
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. The Danish Girl 13. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 14. Inside Out 15. Black Mass 16. By the Sea 17. Sicario 18. The End of the Tour 19. The Walk 20. Trainwreck 21. Beasts of No Nation 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Macbeth 24. Suffragette 25. Lion 26. Mad Max: Fury Road 27. Freeheld 28. I Saw The Light 29. Room 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race

We always knew that the beginning of the fall festival season would launch a number of titles into the early Oscar race, but perhaps not to this level so far. Yes, over at the Telluride Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, almost all of the high profile debuts have been fondly received, giving them momentum going into the awards season. We still have the New York Film Festival later this month to add more potential contenders, but already Telluride and Venice have been a near embarrassment of riches. Even just a quick glance at the early response could make this a crowded precursor season once again.

We’ll start with Venice, which begun first and had the high profile premiere of Everest to kick things off. That disaster epic debuted to mostly solid reviews, though outside of the technical fields I have my doubts that this will contend heavily. Time will tell, but it could techs or bust for Baltasar Kormákur’s movie, which stars an ensemble that includes Jake Gyllenhaal. There was also the bow for Beasts of No Nation, which was incredibly well received, with tons of good work for filmmaker Cary Fukunaga as well as for actors Idris Elba and first timer Abraham Attah. The question here will be distributor Netflix can run a strong awards campaign or not. They’ve had mixed success with their television contenders at the Emmys, so their first film shot could be a tough go. It certainly bears watching though, as the quality is apparently very much there.

The big three over in Italy that have generated the most buzz though seems to be the trio of Black Mass, The Danish Girl, and Spotlight. Each seems to be a player, to one degree or another. Black Mass has gotten mostly solid initial reviews, though most of the time it’s been in praise of Johnny Depp’s performance more than anything else. Depp will be a force to be reckoned with in Best Actor, though the film and perhaps a supporting performance or two (Joel Edgerton, for one) could come along for the ride. Scott Cooper’s flick might not be in a prime spot for Best Picture, but it’s definitely going to hang around. The same can be said of The Danish Girl, which is Tom Hooper’s latest Academy player. Pundits have raved about the performances of Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, so this could potentially be […]

“Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September

Can you believe it’s September folks? It’s actually now the fall festival season, which means that it’s also officially awards season. I think this month is one of the better ones of the year so far, in terms of new release, though that sort of goes without saying as we move into the fall. For the first time all year, a multitude of Academy Award possibilities are hitting theaters, so that alone is a major boost. Of course, there’s no assurance of Oscar attention, but I’m of the opinion that whenever we have a bunch of contenders circling the wagons, as it were, it’s a good thing. As such, this could be a very good month indeed. Take a look below and I’ll be more than happy to show you what September has to offer up…
Here now are the ten best bets for movies in September:
10. The Green Inferno – I’m of the mindset that Eli Roth is a supremely talented filmmaker who has a great flick in him. Early word is that this horror movie isn’t that one, but that it’s solid and very enjoyable for gore hounds. Since I enjoy Roth, I know I’ll be checking it out (actually, my screening is probably going on while you’re reading this, oddly enough), but fellow fans of the genre should keep it on their radar as well.
9. A Walk in the Woods – Once pegged as a potential Academy player, the reviews at the Sundance Festival were complimentary, but in a very light way. As such, this mostly two hander with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford is strictly going to hope to succeed as a crowd pleaser. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re like me and intrigued by it, keep your expectations in check.
8. Pawn Sacrifice – This Ed Zwick drama has been waiting to come out for a long time, so I’m very curious to finally see it tomorrow. Tobey Maguire is apparently great as chess champion Bobby Fischer, so perhaps he’s an under the radar awards player in Best Actor? Time will tell in that regard, but I’ll be sure to report in to you all if he happens to be a notable contender…
7. 99 Homes – Another title that’s been making the festival rounds forever is this Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon drama. Most reviews so far have been favorable, but this film, while timely, […]

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