September 18, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "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        

Tag Archives: Mission: Impossible III

Could J.J. Abrams become the new godfather of the “Star Wars” universe?

After mentioning Star Wars yesterday when talking about the box office prospects for 2015 releases, I kind of had the franchise on the brain for the rest of the day. Go figure then that one of today’s bigger rumors out there is that the co-writer/director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams could be directing more than just that installment, which is Episode VII in the saga. We already know that Rian Johnson is writing and directing Episode VIII while also doing a treatment for Episode IX, so I suppose Abrams could be privy to what is going on and is interested in returning. Another time I’ll offer up some potential alternative filmmakers, especially if Abrams winds up not taking the gig, but for now I wanted to talk about if he does wind up doing it. Essentially, Abrams could be going from the godfather of the Star Trek franchise rebirth to the head of the Star Wars one.
First of all, I want to stress that I think this is a positive development on two fronts. One is that we already know Abrams can relaunch a dormant science fiction property with aplomb, considering what he did with Star Trek (and to a lesser extent, Star Trek into Darkness) a few years back. The other factor to consider is that this hints that the folks at Disney probably are really pleased with how Episode VII has turned out. I’m sure that if Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t looked at as excellent work by Abrams, the powers that be would either be trying to lock up Johnson to finish the sequels or looking elsewhere for a new creative voice. With that not the case, this at least feeds into the rumor that the new movie is strong stuff. Obviously, we don’t know for sure, but it’s good buzz for the film, that’s for certain.
Abrams clearly has experience executing long term visions, as he’s been involved with the television shows Alias and Lost, along with one of the Mission: Impossible installments. Yes, while he didn’t stay with the franchise after Mission: Impossible III in terms of directing, he did get that ship moving in the right way and has remained a producer. Throw in his continued producing capacities with Star Trek and he’s certainly got a veteran presence when it comes to this sort of thing. That seems to be serving […]

Oscars: ‘Behind the Ballot’ video series live online

For Oscar fans that just can’t seem to win their Oscar ballot pool because of that one craft category, today launched “Behind The Ballot,” a six-part video series that explores how Academy members view and ultimately determine who’ll win Oscars for Production Design, Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Costume Design.
Hosted by Entertainment Weekly’s Geoff Boucher, Anthony Breznican and Adam Vary, each episode, shot in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library, features a panel of experts discussing what it takes to be a strong contender in each category.
A new video will debut each week for the next five weeks on, as well as on the official Oscars app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle Fire devices. Link to embeddable video file:
Expert participants include:
Production Design:
Scott Chambliss, “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible III”
Alex McDowell, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Minority Report,” “Fight Club”
Jeannine Oppewall, “Catch Me If You Can,” “Pleasantville,” “L.A. Confidential”
Bo Welch, “Men in Black,” “Batman Returns,” “Edward Scissorhands”
Makeup and Hairstyling:
Cydney Cornell, “The Artist,” “The Aviator,” “American Beauty”
Mike Elizalde, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “Fantastic Four,” “Men in Black”
Beth Miller, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Dances With Wolves,”
Christien Tinsley, “No Country for Old Men,” “The Passion of the Christ,” “Ocean’s Eleven”
Film Editing:
Mark Goldblatt, “X-Men The Last Stand,” “Armageddon,” “The Terminator”
Virginia Katz, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1,” “Dreamgirls,” “Kinsey”
Lynzee Klingman, “Man on the Moon,” “City of Angels,” “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Pamela Martin, “Hitchcock,” “The Fighter,” “Little Miss Sunshine”
Daryn Okada, “American Reunion,” “Baby Mama,” “Mean Girls”
Theo van de Sande, “Cruel Intentions,” “Blade,” “Wayne’s World”
Mandy Walker, “Red Riding Hood,” “Australia,” “Shattered Glass”
Costume Design:
Jeffrey Kurland, “Inception,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Erin Brockovich”
Isis Mussenden, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “Shrek 2,” “American Psycho”
Arianne Phillips, “W.E.,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line”
Mary Zophres, “True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men,” “The Big Lebowski”
Sound Editing and Sound Mixing:
Willie D. Burton, “Dreamgirls,” “Panic Room,” “The Shawshank Redemption”
Steve Cantamessa, “Tropic Thunder,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Ray”
Aaron Glascock, “The Town,” “Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “Ocean’s Eleven”
Mark Mangini, “Warrior,” “The Fifth Element,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance”
Dean Zupancic, “Tangled,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Pulp Fiction”
Developed by The Academy and Disney/ABC Television Group’s Digital Media Team, and the official Oscars app provide unparalleled access to the Oscars before, during […]

Tom Cruise is back! Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol

By Scott Mendelson As is often the case, the last weekend of the year is basically a repeat of last weekend, both in general ranking and numbers, as the holiday weekend tends to keep drops low, if often absent. Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol led the pack of major Christmas and holiday releases that actually went up from last weekend. The Brad Bird spy thriller earned $31 million over Fri-Sun, with an eye towards a likely $40 million four-day holiday weekend. At the end of its third weekend, the first of which was IMAX-exclusive, the crowd-pleasing Tom Cruise vehicle will have grossed $140 million by Monday, which means it has already outgrossed the $134 million-grossing Mission: Impossible III. Overseas, the sequel is doing even bigger business, with a worldwide total of $324 million as we close out 2011. The $215 million gross of John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II is likely out of reach, but surpassing the $181 million gross from Brian DePalma’s Mission: Impossible is not only possible but plausible. Worldwide, the film is shaping up to be $600 million earner, the respective totals, speculative as they may be now, would make this film Tom Cruise’s third-biggest domestic grosser and his biggest worldwide earner ever. MI4 already ranks ninth on both lists.

Coming it at a strong second place was Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Both it and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked debuted below expectations two weeks ago, but both have used the holiday season to pick up lost ground, proving again that the last two weeks of the year are great for leggy runs. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows grossed $22 million, for a new total of $132 million. Combined with Monday’s grosses, that should put the second Sherlock Holmes picture exactly where the first was at the end of its New Year’s weekend, albeit with an extra seven days to get there. Point being, if the film can avoid complete collapse in the mostly barren January (and said mediocre January slate will boost every single film discussed here today), it may get closer to the $209 million domestic total of Sherlock Holmes than anyone thought possible two weeks ago. Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 earned $18 million for the weekend, giving it $94 million with the strong possibility of crossing the $100 million mark on […]

“Top Gun” sequel in works, with part ready for Tom Cruise

By Sean O’Connell Christopher McQuarrie feels the need … the need for speed!
Why should that concern us? Because the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Usual Suspects,” “Valkyrie” and December’s “The Tourist” has been asked to punch up a sequel to the campy flyboy fairy tale “Top Gun” for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott. According to Vulture, there’ll even be a small role for original Maverick, Tom Cruise.
We hear that Cruise has to agreed to take a smaller role in the film, provided it’s not too “obvious” a part, i.e. Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell as grizzled Top Gun flight instructor. – Vulture reports.
A reboot of a long-dormant franchise isn’t a novel concept. In today’s idea-starved industry, recent reboots or remakes of valued ‘80s properties such as “The A-Team” or “The Karate Kid” even have shown the ability to turn a healthy profit, when treated properly.
Eyeing McQuarrie is a good first step. Beyond “Tourist,” his treatment of a “Wolverine” sequel reportedly has 20th Century Fox executives celebrating. That script must be impressive if Fox was able to use it to lure Darren Aronofsky into the mutant universe (or, at least, consider it).
And Cruise could use the boost that normally comes with revisiting an old role. “Knight & Day” underperformed at the summer box office. The last picture the once-bankable actor carried past the $100 million mark was “Mission: Impossible III” in 2006.
What do you think? Do you want to see a new “Top Gun” film? Could Chris Pine, who’s already in the Paramount “family,” make a cocky sparring partner for elder statesman Cruise? Stay tuned.
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Maggie Q is the “Hollywood TV Star of the Week” Margaret Denise Quigley, better known as Maggie Q really broke into the U.S. scene in 2006, when she starred alongside Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible III.”
The actress has also appeared in “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Balls of Fury,” and stars in the video game in the Need for Speed franchise Need for Speed: Undercover as Inspector Chase Linh who is the player’s only contact to the Tri-City Police.
However, she’s making her break into television as the lead role in CW’s new series “Nikita.” The series premiere of “Nikita” matched The CW’s all-time best ratings in the Thursday 9-10:00p.m. time period among women 18-34 (1.9/5), according to preliminary Live Plus Same Day Nielsen ratings for Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. “Nikita” also delivered the largest audience (3.6million) in the time period in over 18 months, since 1/29/09.
Coming off a strong series start, it’s safe to say that she’ll be around for a while. Therefore, we are happy to announce that Maggie Q is the “Hollywood TV Star of the Week.”
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ACT Against Violence partners with thriller “Last Day on Earth” Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Deborah Hoffman, immediately took interest in the film “Last Day On Earth,” in which her daughter Tara Shayne stars, after reading the script. Dr. Hoffman says “I believe the subject content of this film is a perfect springboard for alerting the public on a larger scale about the need for early education in preventing bullying and violence among youth, as I have seen first hand in the correction system, the devastating effects violence has on both the victims and the perpetrators.” She continues: “‘Last Day on Earth’ provides a socially relevant platform stressing the need for tolerance and anti-violence in the 21st century.”
Producer and actress Kristen Dalton (“The Departed” and “The Perfect Family”) also stars in this highly anticipated coming of age sci-fi thriller, “The Last Day on Earth,” along with Justin Hanlon (“W hore”/”The Inner Circle”), Tara Shayne (“Drama Kings”), Justin Deeley (“Couples Retreat”), Christina Corigliano (“Devolved”) and Bellamy Young (“Mission Impossible III”/”Dirty Sexy Money”), and introducing 14 year old Franny Hocking, was primarily shot in Los Angeles.
Established actress Kristen Dalton along with fellow producers, Jesse Uram, Ryan Finnerty (who also co-wrote) with writer/director Uri Niv, present an edgy and indie psychological sci-fi thriller that follows the tortured mind of Miles Bennell (Hanlon) a mentally unstable high school student, who witnesses a meteor shower late one night. After visiting the impact site of a meteorite, Miles suspects that his schoolmates, specifically the popular kids that bully him regularly (Deeley and Corigliano), are being taken over and transformed into something alien and terrifying. With the pressing threat of a full-scale invasion, Miles desperately tries to save Emily (Shayne), his classmate crush, as his mind quickly begins confusing reality with delusion.
Producer Dalton says: “Our team is very excited to welcome the partnership with ACT, as they are an important national organization for adults and children. This is such an intense, and amazing story, thanks to a wonderfully written and edgy script by Ryan and Uri which we feel will resonate with today’s break-neck pace of uncertainty and desire to fit in, be accepted, and be a part of a society, that, at times feels hostile and disconnected, for kids and adults alike.”
Writer/Director Uri Niv comes from a long line of filmmakers; his parents have won prizes at both the Cannes and Berlin film festivals. After completing his three year service in the Israeli Defence Force, Niv […]

Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’ to open 2 days earlier

By Scott Mendelson Long story short – Knight and Day, Fox’s action-comedy directed by James Mangold and starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, is set to open two days earlier than intended. Instead of directly facing off against Grown Ups (which stars Adam Sandler and every major star who has ever been in an Adam Sandler picture), the somewhat well-buzzed project will now open on Wednesday, June 23rd. Long reason short – Adam Sandler comedies generally open to about $35-40 million, and the track records of Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise means that the action picture probably won’t win the weekend. Besides, the move gives it two more days before the 1,600 pound gorilla known as Twilight Saga: Eclipse takes its best shot at The Dark Knight’s $203 million five-day record (the five-day opening weekend record-holder is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, with $200 million). As far as how well Knight and Day will open, you can bet that the tabloids are itching to tear Cruise apart when the film doesn’t open to blockbuster levels. But guess what? It probably won’t.
Like Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise made his name as Hollywood’s biggest and most consistent star when a $15 million opening weekend was very good, a $25 million weekend was fantastic, and a $100 million total was an unqualified smash hit. Cruise has had six opening weekends above $25 million. They are Minority Report ($35 million), Interview with the Vampire ($36 million), Mission: Impossible ($45 million), Mission: Impossible III ($47 million), Mission: Impossible II ($57 million), and War of the Worlds ($64 million). The next highest are four films (The Last Samurai, Collateral, The Firm, and Vanilla Sky) that have opened around $24-25 million. Of the six biggest opening weekends, two of them were Steven Spielberg sci-fi action pictures, three of them were Mission: Impossible films, and one of them was a controversial adaptation of a beloved novel. So you take away the pre-established properties and Cruise’s biggest original-material openings are Minority Report and Collateral, which opened about $10 million apart from each other. Oh, and two of those openings (War of the Worlds and Mission: Impossible III) occurred in the heat of Cruise’s couch-jumping public-relations meltdown.
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The Top 10… Tom Cruise Performances Five years ago, Tom Cruise — as big an A-list movie star as Hollywood has ever known — blew up his own career.

He went on “Oprah” and jumped up and down on a sofa; he gave an interview in which he condemned Brooke Shields for taking medication for her post-partum depression; and he went on “The Today Show” and lectured Matt Lauer about the history of psychiatry. Hard as it was to believe, the all-American actor with the boyish grin who everyone loved had become a self-important bully who everyone loved to hate.
Flash-forward to the present, though, and the difference is remarkable: Cruise (and his PR team) have managed one of the greatest resurrections since Jesus himself. How did he do it? Well, he apparently learned to laugh at himself. After a run of box-office disappointments (“Mission: Impossible III” in 2006, “Lions for Lambs” in 2007, and “Valkyrie” in 2008), Cruise made a “cameo” — if one can really call it that, since he was virtually unrecognizable — as a fat, bald, vile producer in Ben Stiller’s no-holds-barred comedy “Tropic Thunder,” winning countless guffaws and widespread praise. Then, to mark the occasion of his 25th year in films, he launched a Web site expressly to thank his fans for their enduring support. And slowly but surely, he began making amends for his prior behavior. He appeared on David Letterman’s “The Late Show” and jovially mocked himself. He offered a heartfelt apology to Shields. He attended a roast of Lauer where he really roasted himself. And he recently returned to Oprah’s couch — and remained seated.
Last week, Cruise made a surprise appearance on the MTV Movie Awards, reprising the role of Les Grossman and delivering an utterly hilarious rant and expertly choreographed dance that has had people talking ever since. Two weeks from today, his next film, “Knight and Day,” an action-packed comedy, will be released nationwide, and early indications are that it will mark his return to the top of the box-office. And today — since everyone else seems to be reassessing Tom Cruise — I’d like to share with you my list of the ten best big screen performances ever delivered by Cruise. (Note: I’ve disqualified his appearance as Les Grossman because it really was just a cameo… but, for better or worse, I suspect that it may take on a life — and film — […]