April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Kevin Costner

Oscars®: Draft Day – What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Written by: Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman
Main Cast: Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, Denis Leary, Tom Welling, and many others
Past Oscar relations: Ivan Reitman was nominated for co-producing Up in the Air and Kevin Costner won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Dances with Wolves
Here now we have the next article in this series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention at the 2015 ceremony. Next up is Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day, which hopes to essentially be the next Moneyball, just with the NFL Draft as its focus. That film was a bit of an aberration, but this one has a bit in common with it, so perhaps the Academy is more open to sports movies than they have been in the past? Reitman has sports film icon Kevin Costner in the lead role, so that’s certainly a plus, along with a strong ensemble that includes Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, and Denis Leary, to name a few. They’re in the service of a fine film, one of the better ones to come out this year so far, in my humble opinion. Being a quality bit of cinema is the first step towards becoming a contender.
What this flick has going in its favor is a crowd pleasing plot and a top notch script, not to mention a great role for Costner to sink his teeth into. Costner always is great in sports films, and this is no exception. Reitman also shows an able hand at drama, something he’s rarely attempted during his illustrious career. As for the screenplay, Black List winning scribes Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman have crafted something that both hardcore football fans like myself and newbies can enjoy equally. Moneyball was able to do this, and that screenplay damn near won an Oscar, so especially in the writing field, this movie should have a chance to contend for a nomination.
Working against Draft Day is that it is a sports movie without an awards centric pedigree. Yes, it has a Black List winning script, but that doesn’t always make a huge difference. Costner also has never been nominated for one of his sports outings, so it’s likely that he won’t break that trend here. That makes it Best Original Screenplay or nada in all likelihood, and having that narrow a focus makes it a dicey proposition. Draft Day [...]

Spotlight on the Stars: Kevin Costner

Here we go with another installment of my Spotlight on the Stars series. Each week, I’ll look at an actor/actress/filmmaker that I’d like to celebrate in some kind of a way. It could be due to something of theirs coming out that weekend (like last week and this week, for example) or just because I feel they deserve to have a moment in the sun, but each time it’ll be a bit of positivity about someone who I’d like to pay tribute to.
For this week’s piece (number three overall so far), I wanted to take a look at our first male actor…Kevin Costner. Some see him as a bit of a has been, but I disagree and not only still see a movie star, but an underrated actor as well. Costner is a throwback to an older generation of actor. Very much a man’s man and a real movie star, but one with a softness to him as well. His best performances have perfectly highlighted that. He can be an excellent action hero, that’s for sure, but I’ve always preferred him as a bit more of a working man, be it as a baseball player or just a middle class Joe like he was in The Company Men.

Yes, his best films often involve sports (particularly baseball), but how is that a knock against him? Especially with the very good Draft Day hitting theaters this weekend, it’s just evidence of him knowing where he really fits and playing to that. From Bull Durham to Field of Dreams to For Love of the Game and Tin Cup (and also The Upside of Anger, where he plays a retired player), the sports genre really seems to serve him well. That being said, he’s hardly out of his element when removed from athletics.
Costner has usually challenged himself more than he’s been given credit for, especially considering his directorial career. He won Best Director and Best Picture for Dances with Wolves, and even his projects that were deemed unsuccessful weren’t for a lack of ambition. He can be a risk taker behind the camera, even as he’s a calming and grounded presence in front of it. That’s particularly on display with Draft Day, even when his character is far from calm.
Overall, Costner is am underrated actor with an undeniable screen presence, like I mentioned above. As he begins to enter somewhat of a Hollywood elder [...]

A biopic of R.A. Dickey could be an Oscar winner

As a longtime New York Mets fan, one of my great recent delights in the sporting world was seeing R.A. Dickey come of age while in his thirties. A supposedly washed up pitcher, Dickey developed the knuckleball (a very unique pitch that is almost impossible to master and even harder to hit) and eventually caught on with the Mets, where he went on to dominate for a few years, culminating in winning a Cy Young Award, which is the baseball equivalent of an Oscar win. He wrote a memoir about his life around that time called “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball” and a documentary called Knuckleball! was made, centering heavily on his story. Now, he’s actually sold the rights to his memoir to actors Logan Marshall-Green and Ben McKenzie, who’ve started a production company and want to take Dickey’s life to the big screen. Friday Night Lights scribe Buzz Bissinger is writing the screenplay, and I personally can’t wait to see this flick. Beyond that though, I think that this has a real chance to become an awards vehicle.
The reason that I think Dickey’s story is tailor made for Academy voters is the fact that it reads like a movie on its own. He was molested as a child, yet still rose to become a high draft pick, though he lost most of his bonus money and was told his career would never amount to much after doctors found out he was missing an important ligament in his arm. Unfazed, Dickey pressed on, bouncing around the minor leagues and making unremarkable appearances in the bigs, until of course he harnessed the knuckleball. The rest is literally history. That triumphant tale is exactly the sort of one that Oscar voters flock to.
So who could play Dickey? Apparently neither Marshall-Green nor McKenzie are looking to take on the role, so it’s going to go out there for some talented actors to circle. While he most closely resembles Timothy Busfield, I don’t see that bit of casting coming about. A decade ago, I wouldn’t have discounted Kevin Costner playing the role either, but that’s also not happening. In my eyes, I actually would like to see Matt Damon potentially play Dickey, but that’s just something off of the top of my head. Another top notch pick that actually looks a touch like Dickey in the [...]

SKYFALL Earns Top Honors from Cinematographers; Game of Thrones, Hunted, Wilfred and Great Expectations Win in TV Categories

Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC; Balazs Bolygo, HSC; Kramer Morgenthau, ASC; Florian Hoffmeister; and Bradford Lipson claimed top honors in the four competitive categories at the 27th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement, which was held here tonight at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
Deakins won the ASC Award in the feature film competition for SKYFALL. Bolygo and Morgenthau tied in the one-hour television episodic category for Cinemax’s HUNTED and HBO’s GAME OF THRONES, respectively. Hoffmeister won the TV movie/miniseries award for PBS’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS, and Lipson was the recipient of the half-hour television episodic category for FX’s WILFRED.
The ASC Award for best feature was presented by Emmy®-nominated actor John Slattery. Deakins, who was regrettably not able to attend, has previously won ASC Awards for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1995) and THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (2002). His other ASC nominations include FARGO (1997), KUNDUN (1998), O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2001), NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2008), THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (2008), REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (2009), THE READER (2009), and TRUE GRIT (2011). He also received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
The other nominees in the feature film category were Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (ANNA KARENINA), Danny Cohen, BSC (LES MISERABLES), Claudio Miranda, ASC (LIFE OF PI), and Janusz Kaminski (LINCOLN).
Actor David Zayas, also known as Sgt. Batista on DEXTER, announced Bolygo and Morgenthau had tied for the Outstanding Achievement Award in the one-hour television category. This is the first tie in ASC Awards history.
Bolygo, a first-time ASC nominee, won for the “Mort” episode of HUNTED. This is the first win for Morgenthau, who has been previously nominated for THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN (2005), LIFE ON MARS (2009) and BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2011). Tonight’s award is for the GAME OF THRONES episode “The North Remembers.”
The other nominees in the one-hour television episodic series category were Christopher Manley, ASC for AMC’s MAD MEN (“The Phantom”), David Moxness, CSC for FOX’s FRINGE (“Letters of Transit”), Mike Spragg for Cinemax’s STRIKE BACK (Episode 11) and David Stockton, ASC for FOX’s ALCATRAZ (Pilot).
Oscar®-nominee Mary McDonnell presented the Television Movie/Miniseries Award to first-time ASC nominee Hoffmeister for the PBS Masterpiece presentation of GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Nominated along with Hoffmeister were Michael Goi, ASC for FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (“I am Anne Frank: Part 2”), Arthur Reinhart for History Channel’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, and Rogier [...]

Aretha Franklin not performing at Whitney Houston’s funeral due to illness

HollywoodNews.com: Aretha Franklin was all set to perform “The Greatest Love of All” at Whitney Houston’s funeral today, but it seems she has had to cancel due to illness.
Her rep has confirmed that the singer will not be able to perform at the funeral in New Jersey because she is ill after performing a tribute to Houston last night at Radio City Music Hall in New York, states CNN.
Stevie Wonder is still expected to perform. Celebrity guests of the funeral include Kevin Costner, Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey and Ray J.
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Stars headed to Whitney Houston’s funeral this Saturday

HollywoodNews.com: Whitney Houston’s passing has affected many people, and it seems some stars are headed to her funeral on Saturday in order to honor the late singer who tragically passed away this weekend.
Houston’s rep has confirmed that Clive Davis will be speaking at the funeral in New Jersey while Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will allegedly be singing there, states People.
It is even being rumored that Kevin Costner, her costar in ‘The Bodyguard,’ will speak at the funeral.
The funeral will be invitation-only, but will be broadcast online.
Will you watch it online?
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Kurt Russell replacing Costner in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”

By Adam Frazier
Hollywoodnews.com: Director Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”) may have found a replacement for Kevin Costner in his latest film, “Django Unchained.”
Costner was set to play Ace Woody, a henchman for the film’s villain, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Costner’s replacement is another grizzled veteran — known to “Grindhouse” fans as Stuntman Mike.
According to The Wrap, The Weinstein Co., which is distributing the film domestically, has confirmed that Russell (who worked with Tarantino on 2007‘s “Death Proof”) is in talks to play Woody. A couple weeks ago, a tweet from Variety staffer Justin Kroll announced Costner dropped out because of an apparent scheduling conflict.
“Django Unchained” stars Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and features Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife from the brutal Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), a Mississippi plantation owner who forces slaves to battle to the death.
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Amy Adams spotted on Superman “Man of Steel” set

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Amy Adams has been photographed on the set of Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot “Man of Steel,” and by all indications, the natural redhead will not be dying her hair black to play intrepid reporter Lois Lane.
Truthfully, it’s hard to tell if Adams in shooting any scenes in the photos, or if she’s just stopping by to say hey to the crew. Snyder has plenty of time to shoot his potential blockbuster now that Warner has pushed its release date back to June 14. 2013.
But these early peeks show us Adams on set and ready to go. She’ll appear alongside a stellar cast that includes Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Julia Ormond, Christopher Meloni and Laurence Fishburne.
The photos come courtesy of ZonCom Productions (via ComingSoon), which has a TON of great set photos:

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Superman film adding “Law & Order” vet Chris Meloni

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It only seems right that a Superman movie would cast an actor best known for his work on a show called “Law & Order.”
Christopher Meloni, who left “Special Victims Unit” after 12 seasons, reportedly is circling an unidentified part in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” according to THR. Sources tell the trade Meloni would “shoot scenes with Henry Cavill, the actor who plays Superman and Clark Kent” in the film.
Earlier in the, we learned that Julia Ormond had been cast as Superman’s Kryptonian mother. She and Meloni would join a cast that already includes Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon, and Amy Adams.
THR says “Man of Steel” will film in the fall. It’s targeting a December 2012 release date.
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This Week In Movies By Pete Hammond – “Sucker Punch”

By Pete Hammond
If you disliked the film as much as I did (and three quarters of the nation’s “critics” agree with me according to Rotten Tomatoes) certainly the temptation is there to come up with every possible variation on Sucker Punch’s ill-conceived title. I felt “sucker-punched” after seeing it. It felt about as good as a “punch” in the gut. It “sucked” the life out of me. Or it just plain “sucked” (no Pun(ch) intended).
For a Zack Snyder flick, which can be expected to bring it at least a strong fanboy contingent on opening weekend, its relatively paltry second place finish with an estimated $19 million (which includes a fairly steep 17% Friday to Saturday drop) has to be a disappointment. But from the beginning Warner Bros just didn’t seem to know how to sell this film. The poster and billboard graphics are busy without being compelling and its trailer was oft-putting. I predict a nosedive next weekend as word-of-mouth sinks the reportedly $80 million dollar film’s boxoffice , domestically at least. It received a B- from Cinemascore which surveys audiences outside theatres on a film’s opening night. Since that is the night Sucker Punch would clearly draw its most ardent potential fans the rating is weak but actually better than I was expecting it to get.
This story of an institutionalized girl named BabyDoll who, while waiting to be lobotomized, battles (with the help of other scantily leather-clad inmates) monsters, samurai warriors and Nazis. But this only happens in fantasy sequences which are all set off by interpretative dance movements in her insane asylum’s talent shows. It just doesn’t make much sense but maybe that’s the point. Snyder , who came up with the original screenplay idea , seems only interested in plotting only until he can get to the visuals. But I remember interviewing the great Special Effects wizard , Five time Oscar winner Ken Ralston last year after his movie Alice In Wonderland came out and he said something wise that stuck with me. Special effects without content that aren’t in the service of the story have no place in movies. He says content always comes first, not flashy visuals calling attention to themselves. But in the world of Sucker Punch it’s the effects and numerous [...]

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