April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Michael Keaton

An April Oscar Predictions Update

As promised last week, here I am again with some more up to date Oscar predictions. They’re not amazingly different from what I debuted with, but they do already show a change in focus, at least in terms of some of the second tier contenders. We’ve still got a long way to go and these new predictions will likely be completely wrong anyway, but I feel ever so slightly more confident in backing these sorts of horses as opposed to other ones. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m going from as the months pass and the race begins to evolve into something actually competitive…
The big difference that you’ll notice besides the changes that I made in each category is that I’m also listing predicted winners now. As such, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I’ve pegged to be the big winners, with Unbroken dominating at this early point in the season. A lot can and likely will change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, that’s the one.
I’ve also included the tech categories as well, so you’re really getting a full look at how I see things going at this moment. It also shows more of the contenders in play that might not have a shot at Best Picture, but at the very least can hope for some sort of technical citation if nothing else. For example, the new Godzilla fits perfectly into that category.
Here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up at this early juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Gone Girl
5. Big Eyes
6. Rosewater
7. Boyhood
8. The Homesman
9. Interstellar
10. Fury
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Angelina Jolie- Unbroken
2. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
3. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
4. David Fincher – Gone Girl
5. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
BEST ACTOR
1. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken
2. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
4. Michael Keaton – Birdman
5. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
BEST ACTRESS
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
5. Hilary Swank – The Homesman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
3. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
4. Robert Duvall – The Judge
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
2. Jena Malone – [...]

An Early Glimpse at some Advance Oscar Predictions

Now that we’re officially a quarter of the way through 2014, I figured I’d debut my year in advance Academy Award predictions. These are actually the ones that I came up with back in March the night of the Oscars, so they’re not the most up to date, but they’re a good starting point for the season. I’m also excluding winners this time out, just so we can start slowly. Depending on how the season progresses, these can evolve into weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly posts, so for now we’ll play it by ear. I’m always keen to share predictions though, so it’s safe to say that this won’t be an infrequent series.
Basically, I see this season as one that could really favor Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If I had to pick way too early frontrunners, Foxcatcher and Unbroken would be the two. They seem to have potential for across the board appeal, and that’s something an early contender always wants to have in its corner. Nobody knows anything at this point, but if you had a gun to your head, those two are the ones that seem safest to back right now.
Other titles you should keep in mind are Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, just to name a few. The vast majority of contenders are sight unseen right now though, so everything is purely speculation, and will be well until the fall. We’ll know some more soon, but all won’t be revealed for many months. That’s part of the fun of all this though, at least for me. I love seeing how it all unfolds and tracking how my predictions evolve/if any of my long shots wind up coming to fruition. It’s all educated guesswork, but I pride myself on being a decent prognosticator, so I try to keep track of it all. You’ll all get to be the judge throughout 2014, and this isn’t a bad place to begin. My final predictions rarely resemble these initial ones, but it could be fun to compare those as well too…later on, of course.
Below you can find my aforementioned initial set of predictions for the big eight categories at the Oscars. Next time I’ll do all of the categories and give [...]

Could a Best Picture nominee launch from Cannes this year?

In the pretty near future, the lineup for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival will be announced. We already know that potential Oscar player Grace of Monaco will be there, but what else could debut at Cannes and then potentially appeal to Academy members? This particular festival isn’t nearly as awards season centric as the New York or Toronto Film Festivals are (or the Telluride Film Festival, for that matter), but we always get a contender or two to discuss. Last year we had Blue is the Warmest Color debut, while future nominees like The Great Beauty, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Nebraska unspooled as well. That got me thinking about what this year’s slate could have inside of it for prognosticators like myself to chew on…
Below you’ll find five titles that I think could have a chance at turning the heads of voters, provided of course that they play at the fest. I’ve opted to focus on American movies just because those are the ones that the Academy tends to focus in on themselves, though of course there are exceptions from time to time like Amour. Still, big time contenders (and even the occasional Best Picture winner like No Country for Old Men) tend to be english language outings. Anyway, now I’ll dive in and speculate about five likely Cannes titles that could have a chance to woo members of the Academy.
1. Birdman – There’s a chance that this comedy from Alejandro González Iñárritu could be too offbeat for Oscar voters, but they’ve gone out on dramatic limbs with him before, so if this tale of a washed up actor doesn’t get too weird for them, there are tons of nomination opportunities. This could also be the role that nabs Michael Keaton his first Academy Award nomination too, so there’s that. This one could either get shut out or be a huge player, but it’s potentially the most likely to transition to awards season attention. We’ll see if it actually debuts at Cannes, but I think it’s highly likely that it will.
2. Magic in the Moonlight – Another highly likely title for the fest, Woody Allen’s next movie is set in France, so that only makes it even more apt for a slot. That being said, of late Allen has basically seen every other film of his become Oscar players, so this could be the off year for him. Still, it’s likely [...]

Jessica Chastain indeed has the top two movies of the weekend

This weekend provides a fascinating lesson at the would-be star system and the extent to which it exists in Hollywood today. Jessica Chastain indeed as the top two movies of the weekend.
Mama (review), which was sold more on executive producer Guillermo Del Toro than anyone in front of the camera, debuted with a terrific $28 million over the Fri-Sun portion of the weekend, with $33 million expected by the end of the four-day Martin Luther King Day weekend (or twice its $15 million budget).
Zero Dark Thirty (everything I’ve written about that one thus far…) is projected to earn another $21 million by Monday, with $17 million of that coming from its Fri-Sun second weekend, a solid hold of just -28% from last weekend. The film’s ten day total is now $55 million and will be about $59 million tomorrow, or almost identical to what Black Hawk Down had after its first ten days. It opened on *this* weekend eleven years ago, ironically grossing exactly what Mama made over the four-day holiday and dropping 40% in weekend two for a $17 million second weekend. Even compared to the usual slate of early year (January/February) supernatural horror, Mama’s debut is the strongest yet, besting the $24 million debut of Michael Keaton’s White Noise back in January 2005 (that would be about $29 million today).
So does this mean that Jessica Chastain is a new movie star? Not quite.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memo
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Will Anne Hathaway be able to measure up as Catwoman?

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: Catwoman is slated to surface in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman movie and she will be played by the “it girl” of the moment Anne Hathaway!
How big a star is Anne right now? HUGE! Not only is she co-hosting the Oscars next month with James Franco, but she also let it be known to ‘Glee’ creator Ryan Murphy that she’d like to play Kurt Hummel’s gay aunt on the show and it looks that that will happen.
Anne, who was terrific in last year’s ‘Love and Other Drugs’ opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, became a star nearly a decade ago in the ‘Princess Diaries’ movies and has since built an impressive body of work that includes an Oscar-nominated performance in ‘Rachel Getting Married’ as well as such classics as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’
Now she will add the role of Selena Kyle (aka Catwoman) in ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’
She has many acts to follow (it seems Catwomen really do have nine lives!) beginning with Julie Newmar’s performance as Catwoman in the original Batman TV series. She left the series and was replaced by a more sexualized and subversive Catwoman played by the one and only Eartha Kitt who could purr in the role like no one else. (Eartha is my personal fave).
Former Miss America Lee Meriwether played the part in the first Batman film in 1966 with the character pretending to be a Soviet journalist to entrap Bruce Wayne.
The next time we saw Catwoman was in the feature film ‘Batman Returns’ with Michelle Pfeiffer, armed with a whip, playing opposite Michael Keaton. She got raves for her portrayal of Catwoman as a secretary who assumes a new identity after a group of cats saves her life.
To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.
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Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘The Other Guys,’ ‘Step Up 3D’

HollywoodNews.com: Will Ferrell enters the multiplex this weekend in an effort to make this summer a little bit more funny. Grabbing Mark Wahlberg at his side, an actor whose onscreen bad-tempered persona can scare away a gaggle of wrestlers, the duo are starring in Sony’s new buddy cop action comedy “The Other Guys.”
Already, “Other Guys” directed by Ferrell’s producing partner Adam McKay has booked $13.2 million in its opening Friday. The comedy, which follows two New York City cops, who are in need of more respect on the force, is poised to make $35 million by Sunday. Ferrell plays a wimpy cop accountant, while Wahlberg plays a disgraced, smart cop who accidentally shot Derek Jeter at the height of a World Series game.
Michael Keaton and Eva Mendes co-star.
“Other Guys” has scored an 80% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with critics such as A.O. Scott of the New York Times saying, “The Other Guys is most authentically itself when it indulges in a free-form but nonetheless highly disciplined silliness that has the effect of dissolving, rather than piquing, whatever worldly anger or frustration you may be harboring.”
The second wide release this weekend is Disney’s threequel “Step Up 3D” which scored second place with $6.6 million. The film was co-financed by Summit Entertainment.
While the “Step Up” films are known for generating a hit single or two on the radio, it’s questionable why mass auds would yearn to see a dance film in 3D when the visual format has suited action, sci-fi and animated films. “Step Up 3D” scored a 51% rotten which means critics are split.
Ty Burr of the Boston Globe complains, “Watching this movie in 3-D is very much like sticking one’s head in a blender and hitting “pulse.’’
“Step Up 3D” follows a group of street dancers who pit themselves against top-notch hip-hoppers in a high stakes shakedown.

Photo Credit: Sony, Disney
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“Other Guys” Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg on drinking scenes, tension, and shooting Derek Jeter

By Sean O’Connell
Our coverage of “The Other Guys” press conference — with Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, director Adam McKay, Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton — continues this morning as we edge closer to the film’s Aug. 6 release date.
Don’t be surprised if the comedic chemistry between Ferrell and Wahlberg is the second element audiences focus on when leaving “The Other Guys.” That’s only because top of mind will be an unexpectedly arresting visual sequence dropped in the middle of the film that conveys a night of drinking in a rowdy pub, with Ferrell and Wahlberg getting progressively more drunk and sequences getting progressively more bizarre.
“That was actually shot in pre-production,” said McKay after joking that Wahlberg actually took over the camera and shot the entire sequence.
“We were supposed to just do stills of these guys drinking at the bar, like off of a digital camera. And as we approached it, we were just like, ‘Oh, that’s kind of boring. We’ve seen that done before.’ We had just seen that video, the Philips one of the clowns fighting the police that was circulating on the Internet for a while. (Watch it here!) Oliver Wood, our DP, and I just loved that, and so we decided to take a crack at a low-budget version of it. And we just sort of did it by the seat of our pants. We had no idea if it was going to work. And uh, yeah. I think that was all pulled together in about 5 days, that whole thing, which was crazy.”
The interplay between the movie’s leads, however, is crucial to the film’s success, and Ferrell does a nice job squeezing laughs out of Wahlberg’s perpetual frustrations. When Ferrell was asked if it’s normal for comedians to watch each other’s backs on set, the funnyman surprised a few of us with his answer.
“Um, no,” Ferrell said with a straight face (though he was obviously joking). “I feel like it’s more important to be really cutthroat on a set and not have your back for each other. That provides a certain tension. It makes for a horrible work environment, but boy, does it pop on screen!”
Speaking of popping, Wahlberg gets to pop a cap in famous New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter … ideal for the self-proclaimed Red Sox fan. When asked if he had any input into the humorously violent scene, Wahlberg joked, “No, but [...]

Will Ferrell to habla Spanish in ‘House of My Father’

HollywoodNews.com: O dios mios.
Will Ferrell is planning to headline and produce a Spanish-language comedy “Casa de mi padre” (“House of My Father).
No word on the plot, but the film is expected to keep its Spanish language with English subtitles.
Ferrell’s production label with director Adam McKay, Gary Sanchez, will be overseeing the project.
No word on who is directing.
Ferrell’s next comedy, “The Other Guys,” directed by McKay opens on Friday. Mark Wahlberg and Michael Keaton also star.
U.K.’s Empire Online was following the story.
Photo Credit: Splash
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INTERVIEW: “Other Guys” Ferrell and Wahlberg on blending comedy with action

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: We’re finally able to spill the beans on our exclusive coverage of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s cop comedy “The Other Guys” which opens in theaters this Friday.
Last month, we were able to attend a press conference with the “Guys,” as well as director Adam McKay and co-stars Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton. We’ll bring you exclusive content from our interviews all week long, leading up to a full review of “The Other Guys” on opening day.
One of the first questions directed at McKay asked how he balanced the requisite cop-drama elements with the script’s intended comedy.
“You know there are certain beats that you have to hit,” McKay told the gathered journalists. “(Steve Coogan) has to be taken from them in the car, because that’s what’s happening to them in the scene. And then you know also know when there are scenes where you can just go off. If it’s Mark saying a monologue or Will chewing out Mark, you know you’ve got room there. We sort of identify the areas where you can get sort of fuzzy and crazy, like when Michael (Keaton) was talking to the Bed, Bath and Beyond employees. We improvised about a half-hour worth of material out of just that, where it just went on and on.”
“This, probably, is the most plot-driven movie we’ve done,” Ferrell added.
When asked if he contributed knowledge of action-movie mechanics, thanks to his extensive experience shooting pictures like “Max Payne,” “Shooter,” “The Departed” or “The Italian Job,” Wahlberg admitted, “I obviously had a lot of fun making this movie. I certainly felt very comfortable when it came to anything cop-ish or action (related). But with all of the other (comedic) stuff, I just basically wanted to follow their lead.”
“It was funny, we’d be shooting a big, giant action scene, and Will and I would be like, ‘Wow, look at this. We’re breaking a window!’” said McKay. “And Mark would come over, almost yawning, and be like, ‘Yeah, we did this one time except I was being shot out of a cannon and I was on fire.’ And we’d be like, ‘You know what, Mark, let us have our fun. Please.’”
We’ll have more coverage of “The Other Guys” as the week progresses, including additional quotes from Ferrell, Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Michael Keaton.

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‘Inception’ three-peats as ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ opens well, but ‘Cats and Dogs 2′ tanks

By Steve Mendelson
Hollywoodnews.com: ‘Inception’ was number one for the third straight weekend, as it fended off three challengers and neared the $200 million mark. Dropping just 35%, the Chris Nolan thriller grossed another $27.5 million for a new total of $193 million. It will likely cross the $200 million mark on Tuesday, its nineteenth day of release. By Wednesday, it will surpass the $205 million gross of ‘Batman Begins’ to become Nolan’s second-highest grossing domestic grosser, behind the $533 million earned by ‘The Dark Knight.’ At this point, ‘Inception’ is having a slightly leggier run than ‘Star Trek,’ with smaller drops to compensate for a lower opening weekend (it too ended weekend three with $191 million). So it would appear that the audience-pleasing mind-bender should finished between $260-300 million, depending on how well it handles the direct demo competition in the next few weekends. Ironically, it will lose at least some of its IMAX screens a little earlier than expected, as ‘Avatar’ has a planned re-release on August 27th in IMAX and 3-D theaters. There’s not really much more to say aside from repeating the fact that the film has already recouped its budget in domestic numbers and is slowly expanding overseas (it’s worldwide total is now $363 million).
The big new release was Paramount’s ‘Dinner For Schmucks,’ which had an unusually low screen count of just 2,911 screens. While the reviews were decidedly mixed and the marketing was almost low-key, the picture still proved the drawing power of Steve Carell and/or Paul Rudd, as the film opened with $23.3 million anyway. This remake, of a French comedy, underwent a bit of a makeover following disappointing test screenings, apparently to add more heart and compassion to an inherently mean-spirited story. We won’t know whether the changes had an effect until next weekend (opening weekends are about marketing, second weekends are about audience reaction), but my dad didn’t care for it one bit (‘a movie for schmucks’). Regardless, this proves that star power is not completely dead, as pretty much anyone who saw this went because of one of the big names involved (I’m sure the appearance of Zach Galifianakis didn’t hurt).Regardless, the film cost a somewhat reasonable $69 million (remember when only big-budget action films cost more than $50 million?), but it’s probably going to get hammered next weekend, when the all-star (Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. [...]

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