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: matt damon

“The Martian” launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival

For months, I’d been predicting The Martian to win a bunch of Oscars in my early looks at the race. Honestly, how I felt the nominations would go didn’t necessarily reflect that, but rather what I thought the ideal performance of this interesting title could be. Well, I wound up moving it down a bit in my predictions in advance of its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which proved to be an odd choice, as the early word was rather terrific for the flick. It definitely seems to be a contender, though winning seems unlikely now. At the same time, comparisons to something like Apollo 13 really do make you stand up and take notice. Could this go where something like the vastly underrated Interstellar could not last year? Let’s take a look…
Once again, a quick primer on The Martian. The story is pretty straightforward, at least at the start…what if an astronaut was accidentally stranded on Mars? For Mark Watney (Damon), that worst case scenario comes true when his crew (led by Jessica Chastain) thinks he’s been killed while on the Red Planet and takes off for Earth. Still alive, but injured and only with supplies for a short period of time, Mark has to use his science skills as a botanist to figure out how to survive for literally years until something can be figured out. Back home, NASA goes from assuming he’s been lost to wondering what can be done for him, and his crew-mates formulate plans of their own. Ridley Scott directs, while Drew Goddard penned the adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel. In addition to Damon in the lead role and Chastain in one of the main supporting ones, the star studded cast includes Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Mackenzie Davis, Chiwetel Ejifor, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Sebastian Stan, and Kristen Wiig. The cinematography is by Dariusz Wolski while the underrated Harry Gregson-Williams handles the score. The ingredients are all there, and apparently the mixture is up to snuff.
The thing that came out of Toronto for this flick most was how successful it will be with audiences. Every single year, we get one Best Picture nominee that’s closer to a blockbuster than an art house hit, so could this be the one? There’s certainly a chance, as I’d say in excess of 90% of the early reviews were positive to very positive. Some […]

“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 […]

“The Martian”: Oscar predictions for August

It’s almost crunch time folks! Yes, this is the last set of predictions before we start to get into fall festival season (pay close attention to the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival), which in turn launches the Oscar race. As such, you won’t see a ton of changes here this time around, but be prepared for a lot of contenders to move around during the next update or two. I might be going to twice a month for predictions come September, so it’s going to be interesting seeing how these potential players do or do not shape up in the race. As such, this update represents a definite demarcation in the year. From here on out, it’s truly awards season for all of us…
The latest Trailer for The Martian (which you can see below) keeps it at the tip top for me right now, and that’s I suppose the most noteworthy aspect here. I’ve been tempted to try something else up at the top, but I’m going to wait until I see otherwise from Ridley Scott’s film or something else truly blows me away. When that day comes (possibly during NYFF or TIFF), I’ll amend as necessary, but for now, it remains. You’ll see everything below, and obviously sit tight, as more predictions will be coming in just a few weeks!
First off, here’s that new Trailer for The Martian:

Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Our Brand is Crisis
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. Inside Out
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. By the Sea 13. Miles Ahead 14. The Walk 15. MacBeth 16. The End of the Tour 17. Freeheld 18. Trainwreck 19. The Danish Girl 20. Lion 21. Spotlight 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Southpaw 24. Sicario 25. Black Mass 26. Suffragette 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. I Saw The Light 29. Straight Outta Compton 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Todd Haynes – Carol
4. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
5. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
Next in line: 6. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. John Crowley […]

Leonardo DiCaprio: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders

Folks, as you all know from last year as well as my articles again so far this year, 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 another 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 to have in your back pocket. It’s old hat to you by now, I’m sure, but hey…
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger ones that’s out there for us…the Best Actor category.

Here are the ten gentlemen that I have in play for Best Actor, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – Everyone pretty much agrees that DiCaprio will win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. Could it be this year? He’s the odds on favorite for many, and while I’m not sure it will happen, I can’t argue that he seems to be the most likely contender right now. The Trailer we saw suggests a physical and intense role, so if he can impress as much as we think he potentially can here, it might just be his time.
2. Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans or Macbeth or Steve Jobs) – A lot will depend on which film asserts itself as Fassbender’s prime vehicle. Steve Jobs seems like it’ll be the one most likely to work for him, but that remains to be seen. I can’t shake the feeling that Fassbender isn’t going to win for that role, so perhaps The Light Between Oceans or Macbeth will wind up making a late charge? His candidacy is one of the more interesting subplots in this year’s Best Actor race, if you ask me…
3. Matt Damon (The Martian) – Perhaps a bit of wishful thinking on my part, […]

Jerry Weintraub – Goodbye Good Friend

“If there’s one piece of advice I can give to young people… it’s this: persist, push, hang on, keep going, never give up. When the man say no, pretend you can’t hear him. Look confused, stammer, say, “Huh?” Persistence-it’s a cliché, but it happens to work.
The person who makes it is the person who keeps on going after everyone else has quit. This is more important than intelligence, pedigree, even connections. Be dogged! Keep hitting that door until you bust it down!
I have accomplished almost nothing on the first or second or even third try – the breakthrough usually comes late, when everyone else has left the field.” -JERRY WEINTRAUB.
So, Movie producer Jerry Weintraub, known for the films “Nashville,” “The Karate Kid” and the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven” in 2001 passed away. We are going to miss him.
Weintraub also produced the HBO film “Behind the Candelabra” starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas which was nominated for an impressive 15 Emmy Awards. His career includes promoting Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin and managing such talents as Neil Diamond, John Denver, The Carpenters and The Moody Blues, among others. His remarkable list of film hits include Nashville, Diner, The Karate Kid and the Ocean’s Eleven series.

“The Martian”: Looking at potential Best Picture contenders

Welcome to July folks. Much like I said last year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once a week (or maybe twice a week) for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. 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. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet for you all.
Today I’m beginning with the big one, of course…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. The Martian – A total hunch, I concede, but this is something with almost limitless potential. The Trailer was fantastic, the talent involved is top notch, and the book is a modern classic in my eyes. It’ll all depend on the execution on the part of Ridley Scott, but if he’s on his game and Matt Damon is his reliable self in the title role, there’s a chance we could see science fiction contend for a Best Picture win. Could this do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t? Stay tuned to find out…
2. Bridge of Spies – The safe bet right now, this latest collaboration between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has all the trappings of an easy pick to win. The thing is, that film almost never wins anymore, so I feel like having it in the number two spot makes total sense at the moment. Things can and likely will change, but while my top pick is a bold shot in the dark, this one’s high ranking is almost the de facto vote if you sit down and think about it. That takes nothing from its potential, as it looks very good, but Hanks and Spielberg are trafficking in Oscar bait here, plain and simple.
3. Our Brand is Crisis – Something you’ll notice in a few places here is that I’m taking chances. This is another case of that, since there’s no assurances that David Gordon Green’s political dramedy/satire will even be ready this year. It could be a […]

Matt Damon and Ridley Scott appear at the top of their game in early looks at “The Martian”

By now, I hope all of you have seen the downright amazing First Trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Starring Matt Damon, this potentially epic science fiction adventure has been my most anticipated film of the year ever since I learned that it had a 2015 release date. I really think this has ridiculous potential. To be fair, I’m a huge fan of the book of the same name by Andy Weir, which was one of the fastest and most compelling reads I’ve had in some time. While reading the page turner, I couldn’t help but imagine the movie version, one that could be a perfect blend of fun and intelligence. If my hunch is right this fall, we might have the rare sci-fi flick that the Academy can’t resist in The Martian.
The story is pretty straightforward, at least initially…what if an astronaut was accidentally stranded on Mars? For Mark Watney (Damon), that worst case scenario comes true when his crew thinks he’s been killed while on the Red Planet and takes off for Earth. Still alive, but injured and only with supplies for a short period of time, Mark has to use his science skills as a botanist to figure out how to survive for literally years until something can be figured out. Back home, NASA goes from assuming he’s been lost to wondering what can be done for him, and his crew-mates formulate plans of their own. Scott directs, while Drew Goddard penned the adaptation of Weir’s novel. In addition to Damon, the star studded cast includes Sean Bean, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Mackenzie Davis, Chiwetel Ejifor, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Sebastian Stan, and Kristen Wiig. The cinematography is by Dariusz Wolski while the underrated Harry Gregson-Williams handles the score. Maybe I’m nuts, but I really do see Oscar potential here for The Martian. The ingredients are all there.
I know that the genre has been burned many times before and I got my hopes (and perhaps yours as well) up for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar last year, but the slightly lighter tone might be a benefit in the case of this one. The X factor of course is Scott. Damon fits this character very well, if slightly more A-list than I envisioned the character (though that’s just my mental image), so the central part is well cast. It’s up to Scott not to come up short like […]

“The Martian”: Oscar Predictions for June 2015

I’d been planning all week to write about Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s The Martian, which debuted an incredible Trailer at the start of the week, but decided to hold off and incorporate it into my new Oscar predictions update. Why? Well, mainly because the film appears to be exceeding even my high expectations. I said after the Trailer debut of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Bridge of Spies that you couldn’t bet against that one right now, but if you want to be bold, The Martian is one route to take. You’ll see in my predictions that I’ve decided to get a bit risky this time out…
Yes, instead of just going with as many obvious frontrunners for Academy Awards as possible, I’m looking to see what some fresh blood here and there might look like. As such, The Martian is really all over the place, doing better than any other film. A long shot? Perhaps, but everything so far suggests a special movie, so I’m banking that the book I adore so much was faithfully executed by Scott and company. If that’s the case, it easily could do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t, which is to really contend for a Best Picture win. Time will tell, but this update shows that at least I think it potentially has a chance. The Academy will have its say eventually, but right now, this is how I see things going.
Here now, without further delay, are my newest Oscar predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Our Brand is Crisis
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Carol
6. The Revenant
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Inside Out 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. Black Mass 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Trainwreck 26. Sicario 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
3. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. David O. Russell – Joy 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. […]

Matt Damon – The Martian – First Global Trailer

20th Century Fox is excited to debut the FIRST global trailer for their highly anticipated cinematic adventure, THE MARTIAN! Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star-studded cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring ?the Martian? home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney?s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
THE MARTIAN Official Channels
SITE: TheMartianMovie.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/MartianMovie
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MartianMovie
YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/TheMartianMovie
INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/MartianMovie
OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #TheMartian

Ranking the films of Cameron Crowe

I’m a big fan of positivity, especially when it comes to the film industry, since it seems to be at a premium most of the time. Two weeks ago, filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest movie Aloha opened to rather poor reviews, some of which began to look back and degrade his canon on the whole. In an attempt to keep it positive, I wanted to look back on Crowe’s filmography and rank his work to date, especially since I’m one of the few who feel that he’s basically never had a true “bad” movie. Some of his films are better than the others, of course, but they all have value…
Here’s my ranking of the films from writer/director Cameron Crowe:
1. Almost Famous – Crowe’s masterpiece and one of the best films of the last 25 years (along with one of my five favorites of all time), this is basically a perfect piece of cinema. A passion project based on Crowe’s childhood, it’s just brilliant on every single level. Multiple scenes are forever engrained in my mind, and I know I’m not alone. As a bonus, this is one of the few films that only gets better when you see more of it, as the three hour “Untitled” extended edition proves.
2. Jerry Maguire – One of the more quotable movies ever, this is Crowe at his most crowd pleasing. Armed with Tom Cruise in perhaps his peak form, at least charisma wise, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this romantic dramedy. By the time you hear “You had me at hello”, the film already has you. It’s probably the outing of Crowe’s that I’ve revisited most, due to just how pleasing it is, on pretty much all levels.
3. Say Anything – A very good film on its own, it’s made even better by the now iconic scene of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head, to the tune of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. Crowe was making his directorial debut here, after making a name for himself by writing the book and screenplay adaptation for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, so he was a work in progress. Still, this is an incredibly accomplished debut, full of hints that he was going to one day become the best in the business.
4. Elizabethtown – Here’s one that I love way more than almost anyone else. I have a soft spot in […]

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