July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: Mark Ruffalo

Which early year releases will remain Oscar players throughout 2015?

Now that we’ve got just a shade over six months of the year out of the way, you can start to figure out which films and performances from he first half of 2015 have the potential to sustain awards buzz and which won’t. Below you’ll see a rundown of the major categories, with some notes about who and what could contend for some attention when the precursors start in the winter. Now, there’s a chance that nothing will break through from January through the end of June, but there’s a chance that a few things could as well, so let’s run that down now!
Here we go…
Best Picture is first up, and really only applies to Inside Out, if we’re being realistic. There’s an outside chance for Love & Mercy as well as Ex Machina and Mad Max: Fury Road, but that’s about it. Trust me, I’d love for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl to be a player, but it won’t be one in this category. That’s just how it is. We won’t have a winner, but if you’re looking for a contender from the first half, Inside Out is the one to pin your hopes on.
Best Director is the least likely of the bunch to have an early year contender, though some will try to push George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road. Aside from him (and barely him), no one really has a shot worth speaking of, unless you think Pete Doctor and Ronaldo del Carmen are making history with Inside Out. I don’t though, so that eliminates them. Don’t expect anyone from the first part of 2015 to wind up truly in play when we reach the end of the precursor season.
Best Actor right now has a potential player in Paul Dano for Love & Mercy, but the category is shaping up to be another bloodbath, so he could struggle to get in. That being said, he has the best shot of a group that’s pretty slim, likely only including Mark Ruffalo as a long shot for Infinitely Polar Bear. Dano is certainly deserving, so he’ll hang around, but I don’t know that he can ultimately get in.
The best shot for an early year acting citation is probably Best Actress. Here we have Helen Mirren for Woman in Gold, Carey Mulligan for Far from the Maddening Crowd, and Alicia Vikander for Ex Machina. The first […]

“Jurassic World”: Ten Movies to see in June

Ahoy! As always, I like to take a look at the month in advance to see what cinematic offerings are coming our way. This time out, it’s the June releases that I’m going to be prepping you for, and as an added bonus, I’ve seen a fair number of them already. In fact, if you include one that I’m seeing this coming Monday, there are only two or three that I’ve yet to lay eyes on at this point. That hopefully lends a little bit of extra credence to my picks, though clearly your mileage may ultimately vary. Regardless, June is shaping up to be a very solid month for film, so you’ll undoubtedly have multiple things to see starting next week. Take a look below and obviously stay tuned fore more on many of them…
Here now are the ten best bets for movies in June:
10. Entourage – The HBO show gets a big screen version for all of us who enjoyed the look at Hollywood while it was on the air. I don’t think anyone is expecting this to win over those who didn’t like it while it was running, but fans of the show should enjoy this one for what it is. Doug Ellin is still at the helm and the entire cast is back, so even if this is just a thinly veiled tribute to Mark Wahlberg, it should still be fun.
9. Infinitely Polar Bear – Mark Ruffalo plays a man with bipolar disorder in this Sundance Film Festival alum. I missed my initial screening, but I’ve heard very good things about his performance. For those of you who want some effective blockbuster season counter-programming, this could definitely be an option to consider. Ruffalo alone should sell some of you.
8. Spy – I just saw this action comedy and found it to be really enjoyable. It’s not filmmaker Paul Feig’s best (that would be Bridesmaids), but it’s a surprisingly effective mix of action and comedy. In fact, there might even be more of the former than needed, but Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, and Jason Statham are having a blast. I have a hunch that you will too, if you wind up checking it out.
7. Ted 2 – One of the most anticipated sequels if the year is the follow up to a surprising comedy smash. Co-writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane (along with another Wahlberg entry on this list) is […]

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” begins to roll out worldwide

All this week, we’ve seen Marvel slowly begin to allow reviews to trickle out about Avengers: Age of Ultron, in advance of the global release this weekend, followed by the U.S. next week. So far, the early word has been pretty solid, with some out and out raves and almost no outright detractors. After how big a smash across the board The Avengers was, seeing the sequel apparently continue the trend is a solid sight to behold. Marvel continues their perfect record and comic book fans get another top tier piece of entertainment to enjoy. The summer movie season is about to begin folks…
You’d basically have to live under a rock not to be fully aware what this film is about, but at the off chance you don’t, I’m more than willing to provide a quick primer. Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and working not only as a sequel to The Avengers but also Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this flick sees the team of superheroes faced with a dastardly Artificial Intelligence named Ultron (voice of James Spader). As such, it’s up to Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemseworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to save the day. Hayley Atwell, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Colbie Smulders, and more return as well. Joss Whedon once again co-writes and directs. All told, it’s probably the largest scale comic book film to date.
What Avengers: Age of Ultron is doing now is setting up the next phase in Marvel’s giant plan, culminating in the next Avengers flick, which is a two parter. Sure, it’s a few years before Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 hits in May of 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 in May of 2019. Those films will basically result in a whole new direction for the company, or at least we assume. At the very least, they will mark Whedon turning over controls of the flagship Marvel franchise to veterans of Captain America: The Winter Solider and next year’s Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. They’ll be the big shepherds from here on out, with Civil War upping the ante presumably from Age of Ultron and whetting the appetite for both parts of […]

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON World Premiere

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Jon Favreau serve as executive producers. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015″
To learn more go to AVENGERS – AGE OF ULTRON
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Extended Movie Clip

Avengers: Age of Ultron interviews – Downey Jr, Hemsworth, Evans, Spader, Ruffalo, Johnasson, Renner

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner – Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Marvel Studios presents ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series ‘The Avengers,’ first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ on May 1, 2015.
Cast:Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård with James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

The 83rd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks:
Best Picture – The Social Network
The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. My personal pick Blue Valentine wasn’t nominated, of course, so my number two pick is an easy one…The Social Network. Such a shame that it fell short here to The King’s Speech in real life.
Best Director – David Fincher for The Social Network
This category featured Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and David O. Russell (The Fighter), and yet the three most interesting choices in Aronofsky, Fincher, and Russell were passed over for Hooper. I’d change that though, and go with Fincher. Had I been given the power to vote for anyone though, I’d probably have gone with Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine.
Best Actor – Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
I didn’t intend to vote down the line for The Social Network, but so far it just has worked out that way. My personal pick Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine got snubbed, so I had to go to my second choice. The nominees here were Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech). It’s hard to argue with Firth’s win, but I think Eisenberg was slightly more deserving overall.
Best Actress – Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Honestly, I might prefer Natalie Portman for Black Swan, but I can’t resist the chance to give Blue Valentine an Oscar win […]

A Mid February Oscar predictions update

We’ve come to the penultimate update to my predictions folks. With Academy Award voting going on hot and heavy, it’s really time to buckle down and try to work out some last minute Oscar hunches before final predictions next week, right? Much like I said last week, it’s pretty serious crunch time here, so once again aside from a guild announcement tomorrow (the Writers Guild of America awards) there won’t be any new information at all to go on, and there might not even be much this weekend, depending on what the folks at the WGA wind up doing with their two prizes. Essentially, at the end of the road. I’ve tried out some small changes and a few big ones, but the feel of the show remains pretty similar. The big question is still how Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay will go, and if Birdman or Boyhood will sweep those…plus the potential for Original Screenplay to wind up in the hands of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Geez, I’m sweating already.
As you can see below, I’ve once again opted to go with Birdman in the big three spots, giving it Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay wins. I definitely feel like Boyhood will win at least one of those, with The Grand Budapest Hotel even being a threat in the Screenplay category. The other notable changes I’ve made surround Whiplash, which I have doing way better than I think most expect it to, including pulling off a Best Adapted Screenplay upset win and a Best Film Editing surprise victory as well. That would give it four wins, second only to Birdman, which I have taking home five statues right now. This all can and likely will change more before Oscar night, so take it as still a work in progress. That being said, it’s the second to last crack that I have at it, so I’m making my speculating count…
Without any further delay, here now are my up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Imitation Game
5. Whiplash
6. American Sniper
7. The Theory of Everything
8. Selma
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
3. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTOR
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. […]

Updated Oscar Predictions going into February

After all of the guild excitement last week, I figured it was high time to take a new look at the Academy Award race and update my Oscar predictions. The Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild both cited Birdman over Boyhood with their top prizes, while the latter precursor opted for Eddie Redmayne over Michael Keaton in the Best Actor race. With the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America still to announce, nothing is set in stone, but right now we’re looking at some extremely close races in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In fact, they could go down to the wire, and likely will. Quite a change of pace from where we were just a few weeks ago, right?
The major changes to look for in my updated Oscar predictions are highlighted by my first real switch in Best Picture since the fall. I’ve put Birdman into the top spot, ever so slightly over Boyhood. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that pick, especially since I have Boyhood’s Richard Linklater winning Best Director still, over Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñárritu. I hate predicting a split between Picture and Director, but we very well might have another one of those this year. The other main change is that I’ve given the aforementioned Redmayne the top spot in Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, over Keaton in Birdman. They’re super close together, but that SAG win for the former could put him over the top. Birdman also beats Boyhood in Best Original Screenplay here, but again…a super tight race. There are some other small picks that I’ve tinkered with below, but those are the main ones to really look out for…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Imitation Game
4. American Sniper
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Whiplash
8. Selma
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
4. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTOR
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
4. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTRESS
1. Julianne Moore – […]

The tenuous nature of being an early Academy Award frontrunner

It’s hardly a brand new sentiment to express, but you really can never script Oscar season. No matter how you think the awards race is going to go, at least to some degree it always turns out different. This year is obviously no exception, so today I wanted to take a look at how the various frontrunner have changed throughout the season. In some cases, we’ve seen top tier contenders hold strong all year, but the frontrunners have shifted for sure. In a few instances, the early favorites didn’t wind up nominated at all. That’s just how the season goes. We’re deep into phase two now, so it’s a perfect time to look back at what things were like at the start of 2014.
Obviously, you never truly know what’s going to happen during an Oscar race, especially when you start out in the early days of the season basically just going on log line or pedigree. Every so often you can hit on one fairly early on (like Argo in my case, which was the rare occasion when I was out front on something), or at least suspect that it could turn into a winner (with 12 Years a Slave), but most of the time the ones you think will be nominees don’t even come close. It’s the uniqueness of trying to predict what a voting body will like a year in advance. As you’ll see below, some of the main Academy Award categories this year could have had a very different look to them than we ultimately had.

Take a look:
Best Picture – There was a time when Unbroken was thought to be almost unbeatable in the Best Picture category. Other non nominees heavily spoken of early on were Big Eyes, Fury, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Jersey Boys, and so on. Of course, once Cannes hit we all thought Foxcatcher was a surefire nominee, and we all saw what happened then. Boyhood was something I and many others figured would get in, but the frontrunner? Never in a million years would that have been a smart bet. Go figure.
Best Director – It’s pretty much the same her with Best Director. Names like David Ayer (Fury), Tim Burton (Big Eyes), Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Rob Marshall (Into the Woods), and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) were bandied about, but this appeared to be Angelina Jolie’s to lose […]

Screen Actors Guild predictions

On Sunday night, the Screen Actors Guild will hand out their prizes, beginning the portion of phase two for the awards season where the guilds chime in. SAG is a particularly noteworthy one due to how they don’t just attempt to clear up the acting categories…they also can be a Best Picture harbinger as well. Their Best Ensemble category is basically their Best Picture, so sometimes they opt to try and crown a frontrunner there as opposed to solely focusing on the best cast of the year. This year, there’s the potential for SAG to really crown the person to beat in Best Actor, so between that and Picture, there’s plenty to look at here.
For comparison’s sake, here’s what they did last year. There was heavy and almost total crossover between SAG and Oscar, as Matthew McConaughey won both Best Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett won both Best Actress prizes for Blue Jasmine, Jared Leto won both Best Supporting Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, and Lupita Nyong’o won both Best Supporting Actress prizes for 12 Years a Slave. The only difference was that Best Ensemble saw American Hustle upend eventual Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. I expect something similar to happen this time around, with the acting winners lining up and perhaps the Ensemble/Picture situation not being the same.
This year, the Best Actor category is one of the most competitive for SAG. One can probably assume that Jake Gyllenhaal is out of the running for Nightcrawler, but aside from that, there’s potential for everyone else. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Benedict Cumberbatch (for The Imitation Game) will likely come up short, so it’s a dead heat essentially between Michael Keaton for Birdman and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. It’s almost a coin flip, but right now I think Keaton is ever so slightly in the lead. The winner here becomes our frontrunner for Oscar.
Best Actress is a slam dunk. Julianne Moore is winning this one for Still Alice, plain and simple. One can argue about if Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) or Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) is the main runner up, but they’ll be surely joining fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston (Cake) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild) in applauding as Moore hits the stage to pick up her statue, on her way to doing the same at the Academy Awards.
In Best Supporting Actor, […]

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