April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Mickey Rourke

Why some comic adaptations failed: Iron Man 2, Punisher: War Zone, Superman Returns, Hulk

HollywoodNews.com: Actor Tom Hiddleston wrote an eloquent essay yesterday for The Guardian basically praising and defending the sub-genre known as the superhero picture. Plenty of disdain for the genre comes from the very notion that it’s big-budget entertainment based on literature that was technically intended for children that gobbles up production dollars and screen space that otherwise might be allotted for more explicitly grown-up fare. But at least some of the alleged weariness of this specific type of film (the superhero comic book adaptation) comes from a feeling that all-too many of them are basically telling the same story. You’ve generally got the standard origin story which (let’s be honest) basically takes Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie and pours it into a different color bottle (I say that as a big fan of Spider-Man and Captain America). Then you have the sequels, which are quite often merely a case of escalation and/or the hero dealing with self-doubt often while in combat with a ‘bigger/badder’ version of himself (again, thank you Superman II). But over the last twenty years or so, there have been a handful of high-profile comic book films that have attempted to play around with the formula but have artistically failed anyway. As a rebuttal to the idea that ‘all superhero movies are the same’ as well as a reaffirmation of the idea that ‘it’s not what it’s about, but how it’s about it’, let’s take a look at five comic book adaptations that didn’t play it safe, but didn’t come out on top either.
Batman & Robin (1997)
I would argue that it’s a sign of maturity among film pundits and critics when they are finally adult enough to realize that Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin is not the worst film ever made. Peel away all the attempted camp, the self-depreciating homoerotic jokes, the terrible lead performance from Arnold Schwarzenegger and you’re left with simply a good story told very poorly. As the fourth film in a franchise, Schumacher and company had a bit more leeway in terms of where they wanted to take their film this time around. And as such, they told a rather thoughtful tale of an adult and sane Bruce Wayne trying to figure out how to be an appropriate head to his surrogate family. No longer wracked with guilt over his parents’ deaths, Wayne [...]

2011: The Year’s Worst Movies

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: This time, it’s time to document the worst of the worst in cinema for the 2011 movie year. Of course, while most critics make a point to try to seek out the allegedly best in cinema in any given year, not quite as much effort is made to track down every would-be stinker. As such, I’ve tried to highlight truly terrible films that either ‘damn well should have been good’ or represent something greater than itself via its artistic failure. Anyway, without further pretentious ado, here are the nine worst films in alphabetical order, followed by the absolute worst picture in 2011.
The Art of Getting By
This film so slavishly followed that indie formula I’m always whining about (‘brooding young man solves his problems/comes of age with help of a selfless hottie’) to such a degree that with just a bit of tweaking, it could have been a Z.A.Z.-style parody. Emma Roberts again plays the endlessly helpful and forgiving prize to be won for the second time in under a year, after the comparably superior It’s Kind of a Funny Story (that one at least had strong dramatic work from Zach Galifianakis and Viola Davis). All of the cliches are firmly in place, the story has nothing of importance to say, and an extended cameo by Michael Angarano elicits guffaws in the same manner as Clive Owen showing up as ‘not-James Bond’ in The Pink Panter 2, albeit unintentional in this case. In short, The Art of Getting By (and, natch, the equally revolting though lower-profile Waiting For Forever) is the kind of film that makes independent cinema look bad.
Cowboys and Aliens
And now we have a film that makes big-budget blockbuster film making look terrible too. In a year when production budgets generally drifted downward to reflect slightly lowered ticket sales, Cowboys and Aliens spent $160 million to look about as impressive as an Asylum Entertainment picture. This seemingly amusing idea, a hybrid of alien-invasion drama and a classical western, instead becomes a textbook case of how everything can go wrong with a would-be franchise starter. Daniel Craig has not a drop of charisma or sympathy, proving yet again that the very elements that make him an interesting 007 (his cold, brutish, steely persona) kill his worth as a traditional heroic leading man. Olivia Wilde has nothing interesting to [...]

Second “Immortals” trailer hits the Web

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The second trailer for Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals” was released late Wednesday night by Relativity. We have posted the longer, fuller tease ahead of the film’s anticipated Nov. 11 release date.
“Immortals” continues to look like a prettier “300” or a more sophisticated “Clash of the Titans,” with Henry Cavill as Theseus, a human leader calling fellow warriors together for a battle against the Gods.
The film co-stars Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz and Freida Pinto. It will be in 3D and 2D on Nov. 11, from Relativity.
It’s interesting that we’re focused on Singh and Cavill for different films, as they each go from “Immortals” to “Snow White” and Superman, respectively. Until then, we have a clash with the titans. What are your thoughts on this sword-and-sandal spectacle?

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Colin Farrell one of the “Seven Psychopaths”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Colin Farrell has always been funny. It just took the industry a while to figure out how to use his dark sense of humor.
Seriously, even when Farrell was supposed to be serious in films like “Tigerland,” “Hart’s War” or Malick’s “The New World,” there’s an air of flippancy that always gives his character an edge. But for true examples of Farrell’s demented sense of humor, check out the trailer for “Horrible Bosses” that hit the internet earlier this week (I’ve posted it below). Then rent “Daredevil,” “Intermission,” and Martin McDonagh’s hilarious “In Bruges.” You’ll be laughing for days.
So it pleases us to no end that Farrell and McDonagh plan to reunite for “Seven Psychopaths,” where, according to Variety, he’ll play “a screenwriter who runs into a block and ends up getting involved in his friends’ dog-kidnapping scheme.”
It’s notable because the “friends” in question include Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Mickey Rourke. Um, sign us up.
No word on when “Psychopaths,” or who the other three psychopaths will be, but so far, this one sounds like something to watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuHSErMlBU8
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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

“Immortals” trailer: Gorgeous Greek action!

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Relativity Media has posted the first official teaser for Tarsem Singh’s 3-D film “Immortals” on Apple Check. We have posted a link to the trailer below.
Tarsem is a stylish, visual director (rent “The Cell” to see a whole new side of Jennifer Lopez), and this clip lives up to expectations. It looks like it could be Julie Taymor’s “Thor,” or a better looking “Clash of the Titans.”
Henry Cavill, or the man who will be Superman, joins Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, John Hurt and Mickey Rourke in a story about one man’s search for the weapons of the Greek Gods.
Here’s an official synopsis:
The brutal and bloodthirsty King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) and his murderous Heraklion army are rampaging across Greece in search of the long lost Bow of Epirus. With the invincible Bow, the king will be able to overthrow the Gods of Olympus and become the undisputed master of his world. With ruthless efficiency, Hyperion and his legions destroy everything in their wake, and it seems nothing will stop the evil king’s mission.
As village after village is obliterated, a stonemason named Theseus (Henry Cavill) vows to avenge the death of his mother in one of Hyperion’s raids. When Theseus meets the Sybelline Oracle, Phaedra (Freida Pinto), her disturbing visions of the young man’s future convince her that he is the key to stopping the destruction. With her help, Theseus assembles a small band of followers and embraces his destiny in a final desperate battle for the future of humanity.
Access the “Immortals” trailer here, or watch it on the player below. The film will be in theaters on Nov. 11.

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Oscars: Will Natalie Portman Lose Oscar?

By Paul Sheehan at GoldDerby.com
HollywoodNews.com: As the saying goes, “Win on Saturday, lose on Sunday.” This axiom refers to the less-than-impressive track record of Indie Spirit winners repeating at the Academy Awards. Of the 48 Indie Spirit acting champs to contend the following day at the Oscars, only 10 of them have won there as well.
Last year, two of the four acting champs celebrated double victories — Best Actor Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) and Supporting Actress Mo’Nique (“Precious”). Spirit winner Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) lost the Best Actress Oscar to Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) while Woody Harrelson was defeated by Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”). Two years ago, just one of the three Spirit winners in the running at the Oscars prevailed — Supporting Actress champ Penelope Cruz (“Vicky Christina Barcelona”). Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”) was edged out of Best Actor by Sean Penn (“Milk”) while Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”) lost Best Actress to Kate Winslet (“The Reader”). Spirits supporting actor winner James Franco (“Milk”) was not nominated at the Oscars.
The trend of the Spirits winner also contending at the Oscars dates back to the first Indies in 1985 when Geraldine Page (“The Trip to Bountiful”) won Best Actress with both groups. Since then, Frances McDormand (“Fargo,” 1996), Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry,” 1999), and Charlize Theron (“Monster,” 2003) have repeated in this race. The 11 Spirit Best Actress winners who lost at the Oscars were:
1987: Sally Kirkland (“Anna”) lost to Cher (“Moonstruck”);
1990: Angelica Huston (“The Grifters”) lost to Kathy Bates (“Misery”);
1995: Elisabeth Shue (“Leaving Las Vegas”) lost to Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”);
1997: Julie Christie (“Afterglow”) lost to Helen Hunt (“As Good As It Gets”);
2000: Ellen Burstyn (“Requiem for a Dream”) lost to Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”);
2001: Sissy Spacek (“In the Bedroom”) lost to Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”);
2002: Julianne Moore (“Far From Heaven”) lost to Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”);
2004: Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) lost to Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby”);
2005: Felicity Huffman (“Transamerica”) lost to Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”);
2007: Ellen Page (“Juno”) lost to Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”); and
2009: Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”) lost to Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”).
Of the 15 Spirit Best Actor champs to compete at the Oscars only two — Bridges and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote,” 2005) — prevailed there as well. The Spirit winners who were Oscar losers were:
1986: James Woods (“Salvador”) lost to Paul Newman (“The Color of [...]

Natalie Portman, “Black Swan” – FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” closed AFI Fest 2010 Thursday night, sending several critics and Oscar pundits to Twitter post-screening to sing the film’s praises.
The words “brilliant” and “masterpiece” were used so often, I’m surprised they weren’t trending on the social media tool. And IndieWire’s Anne Thompson hit the nail on the head when it came down to the film’s chief Oscar chance.
“Black swan: it is portman vs. Bening now.”
Well, and probably Nicole Kidman and maybe Julianne Moore, as well, but you get the idea.
Portman does deliver a roundhouse-to-the-gut of a performance, one that the Academy needs to recognize (and probably reward). The actress guides us on a staggeringly deep descent into her character’s personal, insecure hell that, ghoulish as this sounds, entertains us – the captivated audience – with every self-doubting glance or terrified shiver of the ballerina’s crumbling body. Portman’s occupation of Nina’s psyche is complete. She is fearless, forceful, yet vulnerable. Yes, these are characteristics we attributed to Mickey Rourke when he danced with Aronosky for “The Wrestler,” and that’s why these projects are kindred spirits in more ways than one.

So Portman started winning fans on Thursday, just as she did in Venice, Telluride, Toronto, Savannah and beyond. She’ll earn even more when the film opens on Dec. 3. And even more, undoubtedly, when Oscar nominations are announced in January.

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Francis Ford Coppola unlikely to make big studio films

HollywoodNews.com: Francis Ford Coppola will continue to make small, indie films.
The director announced his creative game plan at a private party during the New York City Wine & Food Festival.
“(My) future film projects would be small- budget and big on (my) personal experiences,” said the Oscar winning director.
It’s no surprise to hear this. Since 1986 when his son Gio died in a boating accident, Coppola has devoted most of his resume to making smaller films. The last big studio-like film he directed was the 1997 feature adaptation of the John Grisham legal novel “The Rainmaker” starring Matt Damon, Mickey Rourke, Jon Voight, Danny DeVito and Claire Danes.
Coppola’s last film, which was shot in black and white and lensed in Argentina, “Tetro,” was lost at the global box office with a total cume of just under $3 million.
Coppola’s favorite movie in his list of credits, per Page Six, isn’t “The Godfather,” rather the Matt Dillon headliner “Rumble Fish.”
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Photo credit:Sony Pictures Classics
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Mickey Rourke takes on another sports role

HollywoodNews.com: After excelling as a wrestler onscreen, Mickey Rourke is getting his game on. Rugby, that is.
The Oscar-nominated actor is in talks to play Gareth Thomas, an ex-Wales captain who came out last year and revealed that he was gay. The Sun reports that Rourke was in London discussing the film with Thomas.
Gareth told the paper: “Being out with Mickey was like being in a film itself.
“The film’s a challenge – it’s one thing to play a rugby player, to play a gay one will be more fun.”
Rourke, ever the consummate method actor, is learning Welsh for the part. No surprise, as he went the distance to perfect a Russian accent and visit jails in the former U.S.S.R. in crafting his role as the villain Whiplash in “Iron Man 2.”
Rourke’s results at the B.O. this summer have been spectacular between “Iron Man 2” and “The Expendables,” minting $870 million worldwide.
Photo Credit: Splash
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Focus zooms in on “Beginners” while Image nabs “Passion Play”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A few last-minute sales out of the Toronto International Film Festival as the annual event officially drew to a close.
Image Entertainment nabbed the rights to Mitch Glazer’s “Passion Play,” the story of a jazz trumpeter (Mickey Rourke) who might be falling in love with an angel (Megan Fox). “Passion “ wasn’t one of the film we were able to see at TIFF this year. JoBlo wrote in a review that the picture “is a BAD movie. Astoundingly bad. Unfathomably bad. As bad as any film Uwe Boll‘s ever made, and then some.” The L.A. Times adds, “While it is difficult to beat up on something made with as much seemingly genuine sincerity as ‘Passion Play,’ it comes together in such a loopily haphazard way that it is hard to think of it as even much of a movie.”
Meanwhile, Mike Mills’ bittersweet drama “Beginners” found a distributor in Focus Features, which picked up worldwide rights to the Ewan McGregor-Christopher Plummer drama. The film stars the latter as a closeted gay man who comes out to his son (McGregor) after his wife passes away.
I did manage to see “Beginners,” and found it to be a tale of two movies. It was incredibly touching and original when focused on Plummer, but insufferable when it focused on McGregor’s efforts to woo a beautiful actress (Mélanie Laurent of “Inglourious Basterds”).
More information on release dates for the two indie films as they are announced.
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