August 27, 2016

Tag Archives: Michael Fassbender

“X-Men: Apocalypse” is another epic mutant battle

Did you know that the X-Men franchise is currently the longest running superhero franchise out there? Well, it is, which might surprise you. Though it didn’t get off the ground as early as the Batman or Superman franchises did, this one, which got going about 16 years ago, has managed to put out more product and sustain with the same creative team longer than any others. It’s to some degree a testament to quality, while also showing off how valuable a product it is. The latest in that assembly line? Why, none other than the sequel X-Men: Apocalypse, of course. Opening on Friday, this new outing for the mutant heroes looks to avoid the comic book movie fatigue that could be setting in this year, before the summer even starts, to boot. How is it? Well, read on to find out…
This sequel, now I believe the eighth overall in the franchise (including spinoffs), is the latest in detailing the adventures of the X-Men. Set in the 1980’s, a decade after the last mission, we see Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his pupils tasked with fighting off the very first mutant, the basically immortal title character of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Awakened after over 1000 years of slumber, he’d like to take over the world and rule humanity, and sets out to do so. He has four horsemen to help with his attempt, including the antihero Magneto (Michael Fassbender). As for the X-Men, it’ll be up to Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and company to save the day once again. Bryan Singer is in the director’s chair one more time here, with the script coming from Simon Kinberg, based on a story by Kinberg, Singer, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris. The cast, besides those mentioned above, include Rose Byrne, Ben Hardy, Josh Helman, Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Munn, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Lucas Till, Sophie Turner, and more…including perhaps a cameo by everyone’s favorite mutant.

I can’t say that I was wild about X-Men: Apocalypse, though it’s hardly a bad film, just one that often seems to be going through the motions. Fans of the franchise will probably find it to be middle of the road, though I think it’s one of their lesser outings. Better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand, the flicks falls short of X-Men, while paling in comparison to Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, and […]

Bruce Dern and Mark Ruffalo: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar now?

As you all know by now, plenty of folks in the industry can go a whole career without ever winning an Oscar. As such, that makes for a ton of heavyweights in Hollywood who are very overdue for wins. Much like I did last week with people who have never been nominated, I’m going to be citing today ten actors or actresses who have yet to win Oscars but deserve to already have one on their mantle. All of these previous nominees were in contention at some point this year, believe it or not, and many will hopefully be winners within the next few years. Keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion, but take a look below at who I think is most overdue a little gold man…

Here now are ten actors/actresses who are overdue for an Academy Award:
10. Carey Mulligan – It might surprise a lot of you to know that Mulligan only has one Oscar nomination, for her breakthrough performance in An Education. She seems like she’s been nominated more than that, right? Well, that hasn’t happened, and while Suffragette didn’t do it for her this year, it feels like many more nominations are in her future, and as such, a solid chance at a win. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t wind up with an Oscar one day.
9. Johnny Depp – For a bit, it seemed like Depp was going to finally win for his role this year in Black Mass. Mostly though, it served as a reminder that he’s out there and still without a victory. Depp has a pocket of supporters who always push him when he’s in an awards friendly vehicle, so while I might prefer his recent outings in Kevin Smith movies, he’s probably only one safe prestige project away from getting to that stage.
8. Ellen Page – Another talented actress with only one nomination, she potentially should have won for Juno, but since then has been shut out. Had Freeheld been more of a contender, I think Page not only would have gotten a Best Supporting Actress nomination, she’d have easily been the frontrunner. Her time is still to come, it seems, but never count her out…
7. Will Smith – Much like with Depp, but to a greater extent, it seemed at one point in 2015 like it was finally going to be Smith’s year. Concussion wound up getting […]

Which categories will be the most competitive this year?

Of the many things that you can consider when thinking about the Oscar race, one that I like to ponder from time to time is which categories will be the most competitive. I hinted at this in another piece this week, but certain categories are shaping up to be stronger than other ones. That being said, instead of looking at strengths and weaknesses, I figured today I’d see which ones seem like they’ll be the most competitive. That opens things up to more combine quality and quantity, as it were. This is a wide open year in general, so it’s only fitting that so many categories seem to be that way as well…
Below are the half dozen most competitive categories, as it stands right now:
6. Best Actress – After a bit of a drought, we have a group of Actress contenders that we can be quite proud of. Of course, who will win is wide open, but it’s not a situation where there’s only six or seven legitimate contenders for a nod. Vying for a nom here are the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Blythe Danner, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Saorise Ronan, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, and more. That’s ten right there. Nothing to sneeze at, right? It’s a tight race, and one that’s certainly among the most competitive that the Academy will have to offer us this year.
5. Best Visual Effects – Here’s a category that will really be an embarrassment of riches. Basically, there’s a bunch of different styles on display that voters will have to choose from. Contenders like Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, In the Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Walk, and more will be up for a nomination. Usually, this category has one or two frontrunners and then some also rans, but that’s not the case this year. I can see it going any number of different ways, and that’s a delight.
4. Best Supporting Actor – As jam packed as any category this year, Supporting Actor could be a photo finish. Among the large number of contenders, there are the likes of Paul Dano, Benicio del Toro, Bruce Dern, Joel Edgerton, Idris Elba, Sam Elliot, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Michael Keaton, Harvey Keitel, Seth Rogen, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Mark Rylance, and Jason Segel. That’s […]

Hollywood Contenders – “Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for November

Maybe I was just distracted by watching the New York Mets in the playoffs this fall, but I think the time is flying folks. It’s already November, which is getting to be late in the game. A couple of precursors have already announced their nominees, we only really have four unseen major contenders left (The Big Short, The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant), and some presumed frontrunners in a couple of categories have emerged. At the same time though, we’re almost done with the year and no category is locked up yet (yes, not even Best Animated Feature…the closest one would be Best Foreign Language Feature). Simply put, it’s an exciting time and a perfect moment to update my Academy Award predictions yet again.
The big thing people have been debating (besides if The Martian can actually win in the big categories, but I’ll be tackling that in an article early next week) is how much Steve Jobs is hurt by the lack of a strong box office. Some think it’s barely been affected, some think it’s dead in the water. Me? I think the truth is somewhere in between. I’m of the opinion that wins might be a struggle now without the public interest that was expected, and even a few down the line nominations might be tougher to get, but the majority of its campaign should remain the same. Voters don’t consider box office like analysts do, so this is more perception than actual reality. Steve Jobs was hurt by bombing financially, but it’s still very much in the race. It’s certainly something to keep in mind though, moving forward…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations, as of the beginning of November:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Room
4. The Revenant
5. Joy
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Steve Jobs
8. Brooklyn
9. The Big Short
10. Carol
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Sicario 16. In the Heart of the Sea 17. Concussion 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Beasts of No Nation 20. Macbeth 21. Mad Max: Fury Road 22. Black Mass 23. 45 Years 24. 45 By the Sea 25. Suffragette 26. Truth 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Our Brand is Crisis 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Ridley Scott – The Martian
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – […]

Steve Jobs Bombs at Box Office

The word is in, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs didn’t make it at the Box Office. Expected revenue for this weekend is around $7.5 million from over 2,490 theaters.
Only a few critics have been backing this less-than-flattering biopic. Both Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet’s performances are great.

Some of the critics have been brutal:
‘Steve Jobs’ Bombs: What Went Wrong With the Apple Drama
‘Sorkin’s script fails to shout and quip its way to anything approaching dramatic vibrancy’
In his latest work (Aaron Sorkin), Steve Jobs, the cringing for me started at the outset with his typical outpouring of clever sentences that in a better dramatist’s hand might lead to dazzling repartee
NOTE: Apple and Jobs’ wife, Laurene, have expressed their disapproval of the film. She called it “fiction.”
Next…

A second October Oscar predictions update

With only a week or so to go until Halloween, we’re really racing to the end of the 2015 awards season. As such, I think it’s more than prudent to take another look at my Oscar predictions today, something I’ll be doing more and more often going forward. Obviously, a number of X factors make predicting the Academy Awards in October little more than educated guesswork, but that’s how you slowly move towards answers. I’ve got a few big question marks still, but this represents one of my more fact based takes on what the race could ultimately shape up to be like. That’s something, right?
What I really tried to focus on this time was nailing down a potentially weak Best Actor race as well as where to put those pesky unseen contenders like The Big Short, Concussion, The Hateful Eight, Joy, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Currently, I have them all scoring nominations, with all but one getting cited in multiple categories. You obviously can’t quite know what to do with them, but with some awards hopefuls like Carol, Spotlight, and Steve Jobs being known entities, it pays to be a bit bullish. I’m playing it a little bit conservatively with Joy right now, but in the next update I might be going close to all in on that one. Sit tight for more on that hunch, but take a gander at what I currently think Oscar will do below…
Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Martian
5. Room
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. Carol
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Beasts of No Nation 16. Sicario 17. Concussion 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. By the Sea 20. Our Brand is Crisis 21. In the Heart of the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Black Mass 24. 45 Years 25. Suffragette 26. Truth 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Mad Max: Fury Road 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs
3. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Ridley Scott – The Martian
Next in line: 6. John Crowley – Brooklyn 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Todd Haynes – Carol 9. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of […]

A first crack at Golden Globe predictions

Now that we’re well into the fall months and about to enter the tail end of the 2015 movie release season, I wanted to take my first crack at some Golden Globe predictions. I’ll be mixing these in with Oscar predictions going forward, but early Globe picks are always interesting to me, especially since sometimes you’re still guessing category placement and just what the tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look like at the time. They’re almost impossible to accurately guess off the bat the first time around, but that little factoid has yet to stop me from trying all the same. Here goes nothing!
What you’ll notice below is that things more or less reflect how I see the Academy Awards going, but with some slight changes. Obviously, the Comedy or Musical categories open things up to some other contenders, though we won’t know for a bit still how certain contenders will decide to compete. We know that Joy is likely to go Drama, but The Big Short and The Martian, for example, are two that could go the Comedy route. I have pretty much the same winners here as with Oscar, with the exception of Ridley Scott winning Best Director, on the potential strength of The Martian going Comedy and winning Best Picture in that area and getting Matt Damon that Best Actor win as well. The Drama category at the Globes still is where the Best Picture winner for Oscar likely will come from, with Spotlight and Steve Jobs facing off for now, though The Revenant is an X factor spoiler here. We’ll have more HFPA analysis coming soon, but these predictions should suffice for now…
Here you go folks, my initial look at how the Golden Globe awards could shape up:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Joy
If there’s a sixth: Brooklyn
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. The Martian
2. Trainwreck
3. The Big Short
4. Love & Mercy
5. Our Brand is Crisis
If there’s a sixth: Grandma
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4. Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw
If there’s a sixth: Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
3. Bill Murray – Rock the Kasbah
4. John Cusack – Love & Mercy
5. Bill Hader – Trainwreck
If there’s a […]

Hollywood Film Awards – Ridley Scott to be Honored For “The Martian”

Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated director and producer Ridley Scott will be honored with the “Hollywood Producer Award” for the film The Martian. The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 1, 2015. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and wins.
This year, the multi-nominated Ridley Scott shows once again he is the master of all film genres as he produces and directs the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who is presumed dead after a firestorm and left behind by his crew. The film stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels and Kate Mara.
“Ridley Scott is one of the most prolific, talented and respected members of the film community,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions. “We are honored to have him as part of this year’s show.”

Previously announced honorees for this year’s show include:
• Robert De Niro – “Hollywood Career Achievement Award”
• Furious 7 – “Hollywood Blockbuster Award”
• Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – “Hollywood Song Award” for their hit “See You Again” from the Furious 7 soundtrack
• Asif Kapadia – “Hollywood Documentary Award” for Amy
• Tom Hooper – “Hollywood Director Award” for The Danish Girl
• Carey Mulligan – “Hollywood Actress Award” for Suffragette
• Benicio Del Toro – “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award” for Sicario
• Saoirse Ronan – “New Hollywood Award” for Brooklyn
• Alicia Vikander – “Hollywood Breakout Actress Award” for The Danish Girl
• Cast of Straight Outta Compton: Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson Jr. & Jason Mitchell – “Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award”
• Amy Schumer – ““Hollywood Comedy Award” for Trainwreck
• Joel Edgerton – “Hollywood Breakout Actor Award” for Black Mass
• Adam McKay – “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” for The Big Short
• Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” for Spotlight
• “Inside Out” directed by Pete Docter – “Hollywood Animation Award”
• Janusz Kaminski – “Hollywood Cinematography Award,” for Bridge of Spies
• Alexandre Desplat – “Hollywood Film Composer Award” for The Danish Girl and Suffragette
• David Rosenbloom – “Hollywood Editor Award” for Black Mass
• Tim Alexander – “Hollywood Visual Effects Award” for Jurassic World
• Gary Rydstrom – “Hollywood Sound Award” for Bridge of Spies
• Sandy Powell – “Hollywood Costume Design Award” for Cinderella
• Lesley Vanderwalt – “Hollywood Make-Up & Hair Styling Award” for Mad Max: Fury Road
• Colin Gibson – “Hollywood Production […]

Which films have benefitted most from screening at the 53rd New York Film Festival?

On Saturday, the 53rd annual New York Film Festival came to a close. I’ve been at the festival for a number of years now, and I have to say…NYFF is always something special. The 2015 incarnation of the fest was no different, though for my money it wasn’t quite as jam packed as last year, but that’s another story. What’s easy to see though is that a handful of films definitely benefitted from playing at the festival, especially in terms of Oscar. Below you’ll see my take on who and what is sitting in a prettier spot for Academy Award attention than before NYFF began…
First of all, which were the movies that played at NYFF that had some level of awards aspirations? Well, titles of that nature included The Assassin, Bridge of Spies (a special Gala presentation), Brooklyn, Carol, The Lobster, The Martian (a special surprise inclusion), Miles Ahead (the Closing Night selection), Mountains May Depart, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs (the Centerpiece selection), The Walk (the Opening Night selection), and Where to Invade Next. Those dozen flicks, to one degree or another, would like to appeal to the Academy. The question is just if they can and if so, then how much? Well, that’s what we’re going to be discussing right now.

In terms of Best Picture, Director, or the Screenplay categories, there’s some definite contenders. I’d say Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, and Steve Jobs are strong players, potentially, with Son of Saul as a possible spoiler. Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, and Carol will have a tougher time in Best Director than in Best Picture due to the expanded lineup, though each will have a chance as well in Best Adapted Screenplay (especially Brooklyn, which could be a Screenplay lock for Nick Hornby) or Best Original Screenplay, depending on the situation. The Martian is an X factor (Ridley Scott and Drew Goddard are in play though for sure), with Son of Saul being the same, albeit a longer shot. Steve Jobs definitely emerged the strongest, now potentially in line to compete for wins all around (for Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin), not just nominations. As for The Walk? It had hopes initially, but those seem to have faded outside of technical categories. The Assassin and Mountains May Depart are far more limited in their chances, though Son of Saul seems like the foreign title that will eat […]

“The Big Short”: An October Oscar predictions update

Happy Friday friends! It’s not only the end of the week, but the beginning of the month of October as well, so obviously it’s time for a new set of Academy Award predictions. It’ll be an interesting new set as well, considering the things that I’ve seen since last time. Honestly, with Miles Ahead debuting tomorrow at the New York Film Festival, the list of unseen titles is shrinking by the day. As such, there’s hopefully a bit of clarity in the race, while also suggesting which categories will be the stronger ones this year and which ones will be the weaker ones (in fact, look for a piece on that next week). Right now though, I’ll give you a quick preview and then dive right into these Oscar predictions!
The big things to keep in mind with this Academy Award nominations update is that I’ve seen Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs, and more firsthand. That can help clarify things a bit. What’s most noticeable here this time around is that Spotlight and Steve Jobs seem like the frontrunners for the major non acting categories right now (Aaron Sorkin especially seems like he could have Best Adapted Screenplay in the bag). I’ve also dropped Bridge of Spies from most categories, just to see how that feels. The new addition of note here is The Big Short, obviously, which I think could be our late year surprise. A lot will depend on how things like The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant do, but assuming they’re up to snuff, the one unexpected hit could be The Big Short. We’ll see, but it’s something to keep in mind…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Brooklyn
6. Room
7. The Martian
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. The Danish Girl
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 15. Son of Saul 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. Truth 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The Walk 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Trainwreck 27. Freeheld 28. The End of the Tour 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

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