September 17, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: Mark Ruffalo

“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 Suffice to say, by the end of the month when I update these predictions, they’ll likely already be out of date.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 […]

Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio – Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?

Of the many storylines that begin during awards season, few are usually as compelling as the ones centered around who’s most due for an Academy Award. I think that it’s usually pretty satisfying to see a former bridesmaid finally become a bride, as it were. As such, below I’ve made up a list of ten actors or actresses who’ve previously been nominated for Oscars but have yet to win one who are in contention this year. I’ve more or less ranked them by how due they are, and just to be fair, I’ve excluded anyone who has already won a prize elsewhere (sorry Matt Damon, for example), or any of the myriad contenders who are seeking their first ever nomination by the Academy. Take a look below and I hope you enjoy!
Here now are the ten actors and actresses most due for their first Oscar win:
10. Bradley Cooper – With three acting nominations already under his belt, Cooper has now officially gotten the “due” label. A previous Best Actor nominee for American Sniper and Silver Linings Playbook, as well as a Best Supporting Actor nominee for American Hustle, he has two opportunities for a win this year. He’ll be in the Actor hunt with Burnt and the Supporting Actor hunt with Joy. It may not happen this year for Cooper, but it will eventually, you can count on that.

9. Carey Mulligan – I’m sure it surprises a lot of people that Mulligan only has one nomination, which was in Best Actress for An Education. She just missed in Supporting Actress when her strong work in both Drive and Shame essentially canceled each other out. This year she’ll hope that her performances in Far From the Maddening Crowd and Suffragette don’t do the same to her. Regardless, despite the solo citation previously, she’s due to take home the gold one day.
8. Will Smith – Here’s a case of someone who can not only remind the Academy of his existence, but cement his status as one of the all time great A-listers with a win. Previously nominated in Best Actor for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, that elusive victory has escaped him so far. This year he has Concussion, which is a pretty baity premise. Taking the Actor prize would certainly put him up there as one of our best movie stars ever, but either way…he’s due.
7. Jessica Chastain – Few […]

Bruce Dern: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS:Here we go again folks. It’s time for another category to get a somewhat in depth look at what/who its top contenders might be. I’ve gone over what this is a number of times, but in case you’re new to it all, here it is in short: it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet that you can use as you see fit.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor. Hot on the heels of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight dropping a first Trailer that offers up tons of Supporting Actor possibilities, this seems like a perfect bit of timing. You can see the Trailer in question now, by the by, but there are plenty of other contenders on hand as well. You’ll see what I mean momentarily…
First up, the Teaser Trailer for The Hateful Eight:

Here now are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight) – After seeing that Trailer, you have to think that the whole ensemble could be in play, but I think the secret weapon for Tarantino might be Dern. He’s quiet and in the background, but within the film could really steal some scenes. Few others in this category fit the form of a winner more aptly than Dern, as he’s a veteran still looking for that elusive statue. He came close a few years ago with Nebraska, and if he’s half as good here as he was there, he can certainly contend for a win now. If you veer […]

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 […]

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