April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Kirk Honeycutt

Awards Season Roundup: Better nods for ‘Hereafter,’ but ‘Trust’ is slammed

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: HollywoodNews.com’s Awards Season Roundup collects insights from around the Internet on films that are running in the Oscar race.
After an initial barrage of negative reactions, a few positive reviews have landed for Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” which had its world premiere in Toronto last night. Roger Ebert’s take was the most favorable. Check out Variety’s Justin Chang and Kirk Honeycutt in the Hollywood Reporter. Both found things to appreciate in Eastwood’s film, though were disappointed in the ending. Honeycutt, however, praised Eastwood’s score and Morgan’s script (mostly).
Following last night’s official premiere of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” in Toronto’s Ryerson Theater, Scott Feinberg writes that James Franco “gives one of the greatest screen performances of all time.” He adds that “the sky is the limit as far as awards prospects go.”

Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” received a significant boost in the awards race when it won the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival. Until festival judge Quentin Tarantino started getting accused of favoritism. (New York Times)
“Friends” star David Schwimmer returns to the director’s chair for “Trust,” but HitFix says it’s “so flawed beyond Schwimmer’s uninspired direction it’s hard to know where to start. The script is at times ludicrous and filled with one cliched scene after another.”
Kim Voynar was way more impressed with Nigel Cole’s “Made in Dagenham,” which she writes has “the strongest ‘female empowerment’ vibe at TIFF.” Singling out the performances of Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins, Voynar said she’d “love to see this film get a little momentum behind it, because Hawkins is every bit as good in this film as she was in Happy-Go-Lucky.”
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Hollywood Movie Roundup: Five films go to war with ‘Expendables’

HollywoodNews.com: As the summer movie season begins to fade, a blitzkrieg of films are being dumped at theaters, but box office gurus believe that “The Expendables” will hold at No. 1 with $15 -$17 million. Through Thursday, the Sylvester Stallone actioner has collected a nice bounty of $48.4 million.
Fox’s “Vampires Suck”, a parody of the “Twilight” series, had a head start ahead of the competition on Wednesday and has since pulled in $6.4 million. Film is from the creative team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the masters of satire behind “Date Movie” and “Meet the Spartans.” “Vampires Suck” should vacuum up another $10 million or less from Friday through Sunday.
Critics loathe the film giving it a 3% rotten score (31 of the 32 reviews from Rotten Tomatoes have been negative). Adam Markovitz of Entertainment Weekly gripes “The Twilight Saga, with its operatic gloom and straight-faced fantasy, is undoubtedly ripe for a smart, good-natured ribbing. This isn’t it.”

“Nanny McPhee Returns”, a sequel to the British kid hit starring Emma Thompson, looks to go toe-to-toe with “Expendables.” The film has already bagged $63 million abroad with most of its dough coming from the U.K. The film follows the ugly child caretaker as she tends to children out on a farm during wartime. “Nanny” looks to make a little less than $15 million this weekend and critics are glowing about it, awarding a 76% fresh on the Tomatometer. Glenn Whip of the Los Angeles Times compliments, “Thompson again wrote the screenplay, putting an emphasis on language, emotion and manners, qualities typically in short supply in movies geared toward families.”

Warner Bros.’ urban comedy “Lottery Ticket” tells the tale of a young man who must sit on a winning stub over a long holiday weekend. The film looks to pull in about $10 million and stars Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Loretta Devine and Terry Crews (who is also in “Expendables”). “Lottery Ticket” loses among critics with a 31% rotten score. Kyle Smith of the New York Post complains, “There’s a one-in-a-billion story to ‘Lottery Ticket’: Those are the approximate odds against a script this bad making it out of the introductory seminar at film school.”

The Weinstein Co. resurfaces from its financial woes from a year ago with Z- monster movie “Piranha 3D.” Thanks to 3D, the film will be lucky to chomp [...]

“Scott Pilgrim” wins over our critic, sharply divides others

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: In the battle of Sean O’Connell vs. My “Scott Pilgrim” review, a busy workload is making sure the latter defeats the former.
I tried to carve enough time out of an unusually busy work week to put “Scott Pilgrim” thoughts on paper. But interviews, screenings, and a week-long trip out of town meant a full review was not to be. Seeing as how so much has been said about Edgar Wright’s vibrant adaptation since its smashing debut at Comic-Con last month, I’m also not sure what’s left to add.
There’s a lot to praise regarding the visual panache of “Pilgrim,” though I thought most of the credit belongs to Bryan Lee O’Malley, who created the Scott Pilgrim’s video-game-inspired world, and not Wright.
“Pilgrim” trades in a hyperkinetic lingo that takes some getting used to, but once you understand its rhythms, it translates into a thrilling mash-up. Not many films could reference Bollywood, Shakespeare, an NBC sitcom, “Street Fighter” and the filmography of John Hughes without collapsing in a messy heap. “Pilgrim” doesn’t, and that’s worth celebrating.
Michael Cera made for a convincing superhero slacker (impressive, if you’ve ever seen the mild-mannered Cera in anything else). Yet he was upstaged by each actor and every cast as Ramona’s evil exes, from Chris Evans to the effortlessly sarcastic Jason Schwartzman. By the time Cera’s inimitable Scott Pilgrim was mowing down a small army of Chris Evans’ skateboard-wielding stunt doubles, Wright’s valentine to cinematic excess more than wore me down. It won me over.
The same can’t be said for all critics, however, and it’s interesting to see how polarizing “Scott Pilgrim” is with the movie-reviewing community. I don’t want this to be a “online geeks get it, print dinosaurs don’t” summation. But the film’s reviews, collected on Rotten Tomatoes (with a 78% Fresh as of Friday), tend to split down that dividing line.
Todd Gilchrist, who writes for us but also reviews for Cinematical, is quoted as saying the film is “an ambitious, one-of-a-kind, fully-realized, smart, sensitive and satisfying work of cinema.”
Bill Gibron of FilmCritic.com gives it a perfect 5-out-of-5 stars, claiming it’s “the most mind-bending hipster obsessive delight since Baz Luhrmann turned Moulin Rouge into a Nirvana-spouting, synapse-shocking spectacle.”
Other “Top Critics,” like Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter,” say, “This is a discouragingly limp movie where nothing is at stake.”
And James Rocchi of MSN Movies echoes the [...]

Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Schmucks’ looks to kick ‘Inception’ auds awake

HollywoodNews.com: Three films are attempting to stir moviegoers to the fact that there are other films at the multiplex other than the blockbuster “Inception.”
Paramount bows Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks” starring Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis – a much needed comedy in a summer that has only touted two to date: “Get Him to the Greek” and Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.”
Those looking for laughs have allegedly shelled out $10 million to “Schmucks” on Friday night, putting the film ahead of “Inception” which made close to $8 million. However, when Sunday comes, it looks like both films could have a photo finish for No. 1.
Critics have been split on the comedy which is a remake of the 1998 French Film “The Dinner Game” directed by Francis Veber.
“Schmucks” follows a budding finance executive played by Rudd who in order to peg his way up the corporate ladder must attend a dinner hosted by his boss. The demands of the event require that each guest bring an idiotic person with him. Rudd’s character Tim befriends Barry (Carell), an earnest, but aloof guy who recreates famed paintings with dead mice.
Rotten Tomatoes critics are split on “Schmucks” with a 52% score. The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr serves up an even take: “A number of bits don’t work, some of the characters wear out their welcome, but the whole suckers you into an agreeable state of idiot bliss.”

Also vying to take a bite out of the box office is Universal’s Zac Efron weepy romancer “Charlie St. Cloud.” Efron plays Charlie, a guy so overridden with grief from the death of his younger brother, he takes a job at the cemetery where the body resides. As Charlie connects with the ghost of his brother, he also falls in love with a girl and must choose between the two. “Charlie St. Cloud” has a low 24% score on the Tomatometer with such critics like the Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt blasting “An unstable mix of youth romance, metaphysical idealism and tropes that seemingly belong in a horror film.”
In early estimates, “Charlie St. Cloud” made just over $5 million Friday. Kate Basinger co-stars.
Warner Bros.’ kid pic “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” enters a crowded family market with an estimated $4.3 million Friday and a low Tomatometer rating of 13%. To its advantage ultimately is the [...]

Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Inception’ sets the bar high

HollywoodNews.com: Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest film, “Inception,” doesn’t hit theaters until July 16th, but the critics have finally shared their thoughts. Christopher Nolan’s (“The Dark Knight”) latest film delves into the complex world of the subconscious mind and introduces audiences to elements of dreams that they never knew existed. This dark journey weaves you through fear, desire, pain, and delves into the scariest place of them all – our secrets. While the world of dreams still remains quite mysterious to this day, Nolan digs right in and opens the doors to the dark areas that were previously unexplored.
Our own Scott Feinberg said:
” Had the opportunity to attend an early screening of INCEPTION last week… in my view it’s an excellent film… I expect many will have problems with it though… it actually requires thought, unlike most movies this summer… not at all sure it’s the Academy’s cup of tea, but we’ll see… in the meantime, go see it when it comes out on the 16th!”
This film has been one of the most anticipated films of the summer and doesn’t fall short of its expectations. Sasha Stone at Awards Daily says,
With Inception we have a film and a filmmaker that has broken new ground and very nearly reinvented the form and he did it all without 3-D. Nolan gets there on the power of the story – and his vision was realized with the aid of the usual suspects – Wally Pfister’s cinematography, Hans Zimmer’s unbelievable score – the art direction, the visual effects – see it on IMAX and it will blow your mind.
Kirk Honeycutt at The Hollywood Reporter says “Inception” is “the most original movie idea in ages.” He adds,
Probably what “sells” this tricky movie is the actors. In his second consecutive movie to question reality — “Shutter Island” came earlier this year, remember — DiCaprio anchors the film with a performance that is low-key yet intense despite hysterical chaos breaking out all around him.
Lastly, Steve Pond at The Wrap adds,
“Inception” is a pretty terrific roller coaster even if you don’t have it all figured out. And make no mistake: as the ending makes clear, Nolan doesn’t want you to figure it all out.
With that being said, it’s a sure bet that Nolan has outdone himself again and has himself a potential awards contender. From the sound of things, this is a movie [...]

Tom Cruise New Film: So-So Reviews, Sold Out Sneak Preview

By Roger Friedman
hollywoodnews.com: The Tom Cruise movie “Knight and Day”–his first real big budget action flick in four years–may be an accident waiting to happen.
Reviews from the two main trade papers, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, are not good.
The estimable Kirk Honeycutt writes in the Reporter: …”laziness permeates the film from the inexplicable escapes to the neglected romance…”
Justin Chang had mixed feelings in Variety. calling “Knight and Day” a high-energy, low-impact caper-comedy that labors to bring a measure of wit, romance and glamour to an overworked spy-thriller template.” Chang concludes the movie should better overseas than in the U.S.
All the advance word indicates that the film makes little sense, and that director James Mangold makes little use of a solid supporting cast.
The word I’ve gotten from those who’ve seen it is that “Knight and Day” — is a B minus/Cplus movie. At $100 million, it also costs about a million dollars per minute. For that kind of budget, not counting promotional budgets–another $25 million–that’s not what anyone wants to hear.
I haven’t seen “Knight and Day” because it screened simultaneous to the Songwriters Hall of Fame dinner on Thursday. Like the rest of the public, I’ll catch up to it on Wednesday.
But here’s the good news: on Saturday night in at least one location–Stamford, Connecticut–the theater manager tells me the sneak preview sold out. He said, “It was an older crowd, no teens and no kids at all. They really, really liked it.” The only caveat? The manager says that many members of the audience asked him why the movie was called “Knight and Day.”
To read more go to showbiz411.com

“Iron Man 2″ reviews hit Web … 11 days before movie opens

So much for press embargoes that are supposed to prevent media outlets from reviewing movies before a film opens.
This morning, several movie sites and trade publications posted their “Iron Man 2″ reviews. The premiere was held in Los Angeles last night, with stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and others walking the red carpet. But the film doesn’t open in theaters until May 7 … a full 11 days away.
CLICK AWAY IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPOILERS!!!!
The Hollywood Reporter was unimpressed with Jon Favreau’s sequel, saying “everything fun and terrific about ‘Iron Man,’ a mere two years ago, has vanished.” THR critic Kirk Honeycutt says the CGI fight scenes “quickly become tedious, their outcomes never really in doubt and the mechanics rather clunky.” He also calls Iron Man “the Tin Man.”
Variety agrees, saying the sequel “isn’t as much fun as its predecessor” as it calls the beats “more familiar, the pacing more uneven.”
Drew McWeeny at HitFix liked the film, though he seems to acknowledge the film benefits from the goodwill of the first “Iron Man” film. “Let’s call this one the victory lap,” McWeeny writes.
Part of me wishes the film would make its own victory lap, and not celebrate the accomplishments of the first film.
UPDATE — More reviews have hit the Web as “Iron Man 2″ prepares to open overseas later this week.
London’s Daily Mirror posts the most savage review to date, saying “Iron Man 2″ is “a travesty – a mind-numbingly dull, chaotic and often unwatchable muddle. It might even be the ultimate masterclass in how not to make a movie.”
Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News disagrees. In his rave, he says the film “kicks it up several notches across the board” and praises Ms. Johansson’s rear end. Classy. To think, he once shared the balcony with Roger Ebert. Come to think of it, that makes sense.
For a more balanced view, the British Web site HeyYouGuys says the sequel “just about pulls it off, but only just,” and goes on the complain that the overly talkative screenplay seems more focused on setting up “The Avengers” than it does in telling a good Iron Man story.
Who knows? Maybe the film works better than these reviews suggest. Too bad we have to wait 11 DAYS to find out!

Bridges makes “Crazy Heart”

“Crazy Heart” featuring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal takes place in beautiful New Mexico and displays artful performances that make the movie worthwhile seeing.
Below what the critics are saying:
Variety’s Todd McCarthy said, “Like a relaxed country tune, Cooper’s direction is amiable but a tad leisurely; the tyro helmer puts the story and character values across, but a little more snap wouldn’t have hurt. The New Mexico-shot feature looks fine, and real-life concert settings bring a convincing feel to the performance scenes, as do the solid vocals by Bridges and Farrell.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt said, “Actor Scott Cooper makes his debut as a writer-director, but he’s working with tired material. As it is, Bridges and the cast perform wonders to make “Crazy Heart” seem as fresh as it does. But an ex-star out of control and the self-destructive drunk is a cross between types with too many antecedents in other movies.”