December 11, 2016

Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” is his latest Oscar hopeful

As promised, I’m back writing again about filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s eighth cinematic outing this week. Whenever a new movie of his opens, it’s really an event, so this is no exception. Of late, Tarantino has been getting the attention of the Academy, so this is definitely a high profile release. Buzz had been steadily building for months now, with folks especially excited for the 70mm roadshow version being unveiled in select theaters. I’ve seen and dug the flick a great deal, so it’s a pleasure to be able to speak more about how good this film is. I praised Bruce Dern’s work in it a few days ago, but now I’m gushing over the whole thing, as well as speculating about its Oscar prospects.

Once again, this is Tarantino’s eight film, centering on a group of less than savory characters convening on a single location, namely Minnie’s Haberdashery. There’s John Ruth (Kurt Russell), Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), and Bob (Demian Bichir), all trapped by a blizzard. Distrust turns to suspicion when murder occurs, with the plot becoming somewhat of a whodunit, before exploding into even more violence. QT writes and directs, with the cast, in addition to the aforementioned Bichir, Dern, Goggins, Jackson, Leigh, Madsen, Roth, and Russell, includes Zoë Bell, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Craig Stark, and Channing Tatum. Robert Richardson handles the cinematography while Ennio Morricone composed the score.
What really works here for me is the sense of play that Tarantino is showing off. Is it absurdly violent? Sure, but in a cartoonish way that never goes over the edge. The filmmaker is showing that he’s a master of tension, using three hours and a confined space to make something really special. It’s brutal, funny, energetic, and unforgettable. The cast all find interesting notes to play, while the writing and directing is up there with the best that Tarantino has ever done. While I think this isn’t quite on the level of his masterpiece Pulp Fiction or Inglourious Basterds, it’s still really great, trust me. Especially in 70mm, it’s beautiful to look at too, with the aforementioned score likely the best I’ll hear this year.
Awards wise, this one definitely has a shot at nominations across the board, […]

Bruce Dern introduces himself to a whole new generation in “The Hateful Eight”

There are many, many things to like about Quentin Tarantino’s new film The Hateful Eight. A great deal of them are being talked about all throughout the industry by various writers, but one aspect of Tarantino’s eighth outing is being woefully neglected. What is that? Well, the supporting turn by Bruce Dern, of course. Is it the flashiest in the movie? No, but that’s not the point. Dern is one of the great character actors of the last half century, and seeing him really get to dive into a role like this and work with Tarantino is something special. In a flick that’s rarely understated, they manage something fairly subtle, so I figured that was worth appreciating a bit today. The film opens this week, so it makes perfect sense.
For those unaware, this is, ironically enough, Tarantino film number eight, and centers around a group of less than savory characters convening on a single location, namely Minnie’s Haberdashery. Distrust turns to suspicion when murder occurs, with the plot becoming somewhat of a whodunit, before exploding into even more violence. QT writes and directs, with the cast, in addition to the aforementioned Dern, including Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Samuel L. Jackson, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Craig Stark, and Channing Tatum. Robert Richardson handles the cinematography while Ennio Morricone composed the score. Dern might not give the showiest performance in the movie, but for my money, he gives one of the best. I was honored by the chance to talk with him over lunch recently and that alone is an experience I’ll remember as long as I live. Factor in the work that he gives here, taking a smaller member of the ensemble and giving him such full life, well…that’s just beautiful stuff.
Even though Dern has worked pretty steadily over the years, including popping up in previous Tarantino outing Django Unchained, he really came back to cinephiles with his award winning leading man role in Nebraska. He took Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and at one point seem poised to finally take home his first Academy Award (having been previously nominated in Best Supporting Actor for Coming Home and snubbed multiple times before/after), but he wound up falling short. He still received his second Oscar nomination though, getting into Best Actor. […]

National Board of Review honors “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “The Martian”, and more

Just moments ago, the National Board of Review announced their 2015 awards. In a bit of surprise, Mad Max: Fury Road took their Best Film prize, while Matt Damon and Ridley Scott gave The Martian the best showing overall, taking Best Actor and Best Director, respectively. NBR’s winners are always noteworthy as a major precursor, and this is obviously no exception. We’re seeing the first group of winners help to potentially sway Academy members, so this is an important moment here on the very first day of December. Oscar takes notice of this precursor to some degree, that much is certain. It’s just a question of how much…

Obviously, some now will wonder if Mad Max: Fury Road can be a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars. Considering that it was its only prize, this isn’t somehow suddenly a lock. Does it help? Sure. Is it a done deal? Of course not. Even just last year, A Most Violent Year took this top prize and wound up getting shut out. George Miller’s epic won’t be shut out, likely scoring in a few technical categories, but it still seems like a long shot for Picture. A nomination could be in the cards if it continues to show up on the precursor scene, but nothing is certain. You can’t deny that this is a boost though for the flick. It can certainly build on this win and try to get more seriously into the race. We’ll have to hold steady there in that regard though and see what happens. The guilds will probably make or break it, if I had to guess.
The best day overall though was had by The Martian. Taking three prizes (plus showing up on the Top Ten list) gives this a huge boost. Some folks, like me, have floated Ridley Scott as a potential Best Director winner, and this victory here will help that cause out a great deal. Matt Damon in Best Actor is a surprise, and while I doubt this will fuel him for a win, a nomination is getting more and more likely, with the same being said for Drew Goddard, who won here for Best Adapted Screenplay. A huge boost goes to Sylvester Stallone for Creed as well, as he could wind up the frontrunner before all is said and done. Jennifer Jason Leigh took Best Supporting Actress for The Hateful Eight, while Quentin Tarantino […]

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 – […]

Hollywood Film Awards: Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” to receive the Hollywood Ensemble Award

The 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards will be launching the awards campaigns of contenders both big and small, but few are bigger than Quentin Tarantino’s new movie The Hateful Eight. The film and its cast will be honored with the Hollywood Ensemble Award, which bodes well for its chances with Oscar. The ensemble consists of a group that includes Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Samuel L. Jackson, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Craig Stark, and Channing Tatum, with some to compete for Academy Awards this year as well. It’s a heck of a cast, one that Tarantino seems to have had a blast playing with. The Hollywood Film Awards have recognized the ensemble with this honor, one that seems very appropriate to me…
Here’s part of the press release once again announcing this honor:
Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight will be honored with the “Hollywood Ensemble Award” at the “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.” The Hateful Eight stars Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Dana Gourrier, Lee Horsley, Samuel L. Jackson, Keith Jefferson, Gene Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Belinda Owino, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Craig Stark and Channing Tatum among others. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh. Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and Georgia Kacandes are executive producers, and Coco Francini and William Paul Clark are associate producers.
The ceremony will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night talk show host, James Corden and 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.
“Once again Tarantino has assembled an incredible cast of characters,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions.
About The Hateful Eight
Six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these […]

Hollywood Film Awards: The Race Is On! The Hollywood Awards Launch the Push toward Oscar – Associated Press

Once again, Hollywood Stars will be going to the first awards event of the season — The Hollywood Film Awards®.
The ceremony will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late night talk show host, James Corden and 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.
Our confirmed presenters include: Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Ice Cube, Johnny Depp, Laura Dern, Vin Diesel, Jamie Foxx, Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dakota Johnson, Armie Hammer, Amber Heard, Mark Ruffalo, David O. Russell, Kurt Russell, Amy Poehler, Quentin Tarantino, and Reese Witherspoon.
Our confirmed honorees include:Robert De Niro, Ridley Scott, Will Smith, Carey Mulligan, Jane Fonda, Benicio Del Toro, Amy Schumer, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Saoirse Ronan, Kurt Russell, Samuel L Jackson, Jessica Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum, Bruce Dern, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, O’Shea Jackson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchel, Ludacris, Jordana Brewester and Michele Rodriguez, Tom Hooper, Adam McKay, Asif Capadia and Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. The craft categories include, Tim Alexander, Janusz Kaminski, David Rosenbloom, Alexander Desplat, Colin Gibson, Sandy Powell, Gary Rydstrom, and Lesley Vanderwalt.
This year, two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro will be honored with the “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.”
“Movie awards season kicks off with Hollywood Film Awards” – Reuters
““The first mandatory stop … in the awards season” – New York Times
“The Hollywood Film Awards has become a pre-Oscar showcase” – Los Angeles Times
“The Race Is On! The Hollywood Awards Launch the Push toward Oscar” – Associated Press
With participating Hollywood insiders, our Advisory Team identifies and selects the recipients of our honors. Our winners are pre-selected to receive our awards. Our selection is based on their outstanding achievement and contribution to the art of cinema. They are not “nominees.”
2014 honorees included some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Keira Knightley, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley, Eddie Redmayne, Jean-Marc Vallée, Julianne Moore, Robert Duvall, Jack O’Connell, Mike Myers, Chris Rock and many more.
HFA co-chairs, advisory team and judges have included:
Ken Annakin,Simon Assaad, Alberto Barbera, Gilles Bianrosa, Irene Bignardi, Clare Binns, John Briley, Judith Bronowski, Elisabetta Brunella, […]

The Hollywood Film Awards Series: “The Hateful Eight” could be another Oscar success story for Quentin Tarantino

Yesterday, it was announced that the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards would be the first to honor Quentin Tarantino’s last movie The Hateful Eight. The film is being cited with an honor for its entire ensemble cast, which is a compliment not just to Tarantino, but to a number of Academy Award hopefuls as well. The flick is still by and large unseen by all but a few, so its Oscar prospects are still a bit up in the air. That being said, citations like this one make me think that QT could have another award winner on his hands here in The Hateful Eight. In any event, it’s time now for another installment of the Hollywood Film Awards series!
Here’s the official honor being bestowed on the film…
“Hollywood Ensemble Award”
The Hateful Eight, by Quentin Tarantino
Who is in the cast that shares in this particular honor? Well, a sampling of the ensemble would be Zoë Bell, Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, James Parks, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Channing Tatum, just to name a few of the group involved in this one.
Just in case you aren’t aware, The Hateful Eight is the latest western from Tarantino. The aforementioned Bichir, Dern, Goggins, Jackson, Leigh, Madsen, Roth, and Russell are the eight ruffians depicted in the title. They all wind up at a saloon during a blizzard, forced to share a small space and potentially deal with murder. QT writes and directs, while the behind the scenes talent includes cinematography by Robert Richardson, music by Ennio Morricone, and more. We still don’t know too much about this one, but in some ways, that makes it something to anticipate even more. It’s Tarantino, so you know it’ll be an event regardless. He’s been a favorite of Oscar lately, so it’s hard to bet against this one as a big time player.
Though you can’t say for sure, this does bode well for the film overall. Especially when you consider how most of Tarantino’s movies have received awards attention, it’s folly to assume that this one will be shut out. Aside from his Grindhouse segment Death Proof, only his debut Reservoir Dogs and the one two punch of Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2 have gone unnoticed by the Academy. He’s won two Best Original Screenplay awards so far, while Oscar has also […]

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 […]

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