September 20, 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: Singles

Ranking the films of Cameron Crowe

I’m a big fan of positivity, especially when it comes to the film industry, since it seems to be at a premium most of the time. Two weeks ago, filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest movie Aloha opened to rather poor reviews, some of which began to look back and degrade his canon on the whole. In an attempt to keep it positive, I wanted to look back on Crowe’s filmography and rank his work to date, especially since I’m one of the few who feel that he’s basically never had a true “bad” movie. Some of his films are better than the others, of course, but they all have value…
Here’s my ranking of the films from writer/director Cameron Crowe:
1. Almost Famous – Crowe’s masterpiece and one of the best films of the last 25 years (along with one of my five favorites of all time), this is basically a perfect piece of cinema. A passion project based on Crowe’s childhood, it’s just brilliant on every single level. Multiple scenes are forever engrained in my mind, and I know I’m not alone. As a bonus, this is one of the few films that only gets better when you see more of it, as the three hour “Untitled” extended edition proves.
2. Jerry Maguire – One of the more quotable movies ever, this is Crowe at his most crowd pleasing. Armed with Tom Cruise in perhaps his peak form, at least charisma wise, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this romantic dramedy. By the time you hear “You had me at hello”, the film already has you. It’s probably the outing of Crowe’s that I’ve revisited most, due to just how pleasing it is, on pretty much all levels.
3. Say Anything – A very good film on its own, it’s made even better by the now iconic scene of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head, to the tune of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. Crowe was making his directorial debut here, after making a name for himself by writing the book and screenplay adaptation for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, so he was a work in progress. Still, this is an incredibly accomplished debut, full of hints that he was going to one day become the best in the business.
4. Elizabethtown – Here’s one that I love way more than almost anyone else. I have a soft spot in […]

Ethan Hawke might be the most underrated actor in Hollywood

I don’t know if many people notice, but there’s almost nothing in the film industry that Ethan Hawke can’t do…and do well. He’s been an awards mainstay of late, as well as being someone who Oscar has nominated far more often than you probably realize. This week, he makes another 2015 appearance (one of many for him this year) in Good Kill, which also reunites him with filmmaker Andrew Niccol. I think this intense role just serves as more evidence that Hawke can pretty much do anything. He’s already had a documentary of his come out in 2015, has some other indies on the way, and always is on the cusp of working with Richard Linklater again, not to mention being an author. He’s a true renaissance man.
First of all, we should briefly discuss Good Kill. The film centers around an Air Force pilot played by Hawke who’s assigned to work as a drone operator. As he continues to kill terrorists from the comfort of a base stateside, he begins to long for actual combat and to exist some signs of a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His PTSD affects his job performance, interactions with his family, and his own sanity. In addition to Niccol writing/directing and Hawke in the central role, the cast includes Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Kravitz, and January Jones, among others. It’s a small scale outing by Niccol, but it’s a medium sized one for Hawke, who’s as comfortable in big budget features as he is in micro-budgeted indies.
I saw Good Kill back at the just recently completed 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and found it to be pretty solid. Besides having a captivating premise, what really struck me was Hawke’s performance. It’s a bit different than what he normally does, while at the same time fitting perfectly for him. It’s a part that fits him like a glove, frankly. As the screws get wound tighter, you just lean in and stare at his work. It’s nothing like his nominated performance in Boyhood, for example (which is nothing like his other nominated acting job in Training Day), but that’s the point…he’s so flexible, and I don’t think enough folks realize it.
Not to hammer the point home, but Hawke pretty much can do anything. If you look just at what the Academy has noticed, he’s got a pair of Best Supporting Actor nominations to his credit, alongside […]

The Best of the first two thirds of 2014

Can you believe that it’s the end of August already? Yes, by the time this weekend comes to a close, it’ll be September and two thirds of the year will be gone. As such, I figured I would do something you won’t see many other places…an article on the best of the first two thirds of 2014. Eight months have passed in the year and we’ve only got the top tier Oscar contenders left to see, so it felt natural to run down what’s been top drawer from the rest of the bunch. I’ll be giving you a look at what my current top ten of the year so far looks like, as well as what my own personal awards ballot at this juncture would look like. Hopefully it’s something fun that you enjoy reading…I know it’s the sort of thing that I enjoy writing!
As a note, I’ve included everything I’ve seen so far in 2014 (something approaching 200 films), regardless of if it’s been released yet. There’s one exception to that which I explain below, but aside from that it’s all there for you to see in black and white.
The Top Ten of the Year So Far:
10. The Lego Movie – Up until the third act reveal, I was wondering why this animated film was as beloved as it was. Then, I understood why, and this became so much more than a high energy bit of fun. This is clearly the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature, and it deserves every single award it’s likely to receive.
9. Begin Again – Though not quite as phenomenal as Once, filmmaker John Carney has another winner here in this musical dramedy. Both Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are excellent, plus there’s once again tremendous music on display. I’ve praised this one a lot before, but it’s a winner…plain and simple.
8. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – I’m combining all three versions of this project here (Him, Her, and Them), one that I’m going to be talking about more soon, in order to praise how unique it is. Filmmaker Ned Benson, along with leads Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy have partnered on a love story that’s unlike any other. Stay tuned for more on this movie, but trust me when I say that it’s something to be on the lookout for.
7. Chef – An incredibly pleasing little gem from Jon Favreau, it’s quickly become […]

And the winners are… 2014 Billboard Music Awards

The 2014 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by musician and actor Ludacris, made television history on Sunday night with a show bursting with never-before-seen superstar duos, explosive premiere performances and a once-in-a-lifetime Michael Jackson experience. The show aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC.

Justin Timberlake was the night’s big winner, taking home 7 awards including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top R&B Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, and Top R&B Album. Timberlake also took the lead in Album award wins with two. The record breaking summer hit “Blurred Lines” won the most Song categories with 4 wins in Top Hot 100 Song, Top Digital Song, Top Radio Song, and Top R&B Song. Imagine Dragons followed Timberlake with 5 artist awards including Top Duo/Group, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album and Top Streaming Song (Audio). Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and T.I. each won 4 awards throughout the night as well.
The show opened with international superstars Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte debuting their official 2014 FIFA World Cup song “We Are One (Ole Ola).” The stage filled with colorful images of the worlds’ flags as the three stars were joined by dancers, drummers and flag girls to share this new anthem with the crowd. In addition to kicking off the night’s musical performances, Lopez was honored with the prestigious ICON Award, making her the first woman in the four years of its existence, to receive the award for their remarkable and enduring contribution to popular music.
Television history was made with a thrilling, multi-dimensional dance performance of Michael Jackson’s “Slave to the Rhythm” during which fans experienced the groundbreaking magic and fantasy we know to expect from the greatest entertainer of all time. The performance was created for fans by the Estate of Michael Jackson to capture the essence, the excitement and the magic that Jackson embodied. Produced by the Estate and Pulse Evolution, it took over a year, and a team of 104 cast and crew, to create this one-of-a-kind full stage experience to showcase all that Michael was.

Milestone Award winner Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert made the television debut of their yet-to-be released new duet “Somethin’ Bad,” while Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande performed their chart-topping single “Problem,” surrounded by a spirited cheerleading squad. Azalea […]

5 Seconds of Summer to Perform at 2014 Billboard Music Awards

Australian pop-punk sensation 5 Seconds of Summer announced today on their official Twitter account, @5SOS, that they will be performing live at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The Twitter video can be seen here. They join an exciting lineup of previously announced musical performers that includes Jason Derulo, Imagine Dragons, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, John Legend, and OneRepublic. The 2014 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 18, on ABC at 8pm ET.
5 Seconds of Summer tweeted a video from the stage of their concert in Adelaide, Australia tonight to announce their US broadcast performance debut to their 10+ million social media followers. The band is currently on a headlining tour across their Australian homeland.
The quartet will take to the Billboard Music Awards stage after a breakthrough year. Hailing from a small town in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, Australia, Luke (17), Michael (18), Calum (18) and Ashton (19) began building their incredibly loyal fan base after posting videos on YouTube. Fast-forward eighteen months and, having spent 2013 touring the globe with One Direction, the band have amassed an enormous following who helped propel the band’s debut EP, She Looks So Perfect, to No. 1 in 42 countries upon pre-order. That EP hit No. 1 in five countries upon release, including the UK and Australia, and landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Meanwhile, their first US headlining run sold out in less than five minutes.
The “2014 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan are Executive Producers. Larry Klein, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are Producers. For additional information on the “2014 Billboard Music Awards” visit us at or the Billboard hub at
For additional news and exclusive content, follow @OfficialBBMAs #BBMAs on Twitter, like us on Facebook and join the conversation on Instagram and YouTube.
5 Seconds of Summer is an Australian pop punk band. Formed in Sydney in 2011, the band consists of Luke Hemmings (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Clifford (guitar, vocals), Calum Hood (bass guitar, vocals) and Ashton Irwin (drums, vocals). The band’s popularity gained instantaneous momentum upon posting videos on YouTube. In 2014, within hours of announcing their pre-order and revealing their debut single title, “She Looks So Perfect,” the band hit No. 1 on the iTunes […]

Audiences are flocking to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ at the Box Office

Happy Sunday everyone (my birthday weekend, if you haven’t heard too), here’s the weekly box office report for you fine ladies and gentlemen! Leading the way in a somewhat close race on this kind of quiet weekend was the holdover Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which rose from number two to number one with an estimated $12.2 million, taking advantage of a lack of particularly enticing new releases at the multiplex. At number two we had last week’s top grosser 300: Rise of an Empire, which hauled in an estimated $19.1 million this time around. Number three was the new release Need for Speed, which stole $17.8 million from paying customers, while Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club was number five with $8.3 million, and we also had one other new release in the top ten, which was Veronica Mars, transitioning from Kickstarter to theaters with about $2 million. I’ll have something to say about the great expansion for The Grand Budapest Hotel in a moment, but among the limited release openings, there was a nice mix. The best of the bunch was Bad Words, but also taking in a few bucks we had indies like Enemy and Le Week-End, though neither were hits.
I didn’t care one bit for Need for Speed, as it’s lacking even for video game adaptations, but it was notable that it didn’t do better. You’d think that with the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise that this would have been like printing money, but no. It also likely won’t have legs either, which could make this a bit of a failure in the end. This weekend also saw audiences begin to send a message to Tyler Perry that he needs to try a little harder, as Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club made a fraction of what Perry’s movies usually do. Finally, Veronica Mars was aimed just at hardcore fans and that’s who showed up, so I can’t really say it did anything other than what was expected.
Among the notable holdovers in theaters, we have to discuss Wes Anderson’s flick. The Grand Budapest Hotel. Still playing in well under 100 theaters, it cracked the top ten, hitting number eight with $3.6 million. The big number though is the per theater average of over $55,000. Any which way that you slice it, Anderson has another hit on his hands, so we’ll be talking plenty more about […]

Jessica Chastain on Bigelow, Boal and the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ ending – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell You could say that Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” has encountered choppy waters since experimenting with a limited release at the tail end of last year (so as to be eligible for Oscar consideration).
Not from critics, mind you. Bigelow’s taut, tense depiction of the CIA and U.A. military’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden has been recognized and lauded by virtually every major guild. Just this morning, Bigelow’s name was one of five nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s top prize … a well-deserved nod, in my humble opinion.
But Bigelow has been knocked in the court of public opinion for the film’s depiction of waterboarding, and was even marginally criticized by the government agencies she tried to credit in press releases that aren’t worth the time spent to assemble them. Note to the CIA: Intelligent moviegoers understand “Zero Dark Thirty” isn’t a documentary. Your confirmation is unnecessary.
Jessica Chastain understands why the film’s realism might confuse, though. The actress who plays Maya, the lead investigator on Bin Laden’s trail, spoke with me about the devil in the details of “Zero Dark Thirty” when we sat down for an intimate interview in New York City. We very well may hear Chastain’s name called on Thursday when the Academy announces its Oscar nominations. Here’s my conversation with Chastain, which might help to explain why I think she’s worthy of a Best Actress nomination:
HollywoodNews: When you have a character like Maya, where there’s a lot of information that you can go back and research on your own and dig into to try and better formulate the character, is that something you’re interested in, or do you prefer to keep it to what’s on the page?
I love to do it. You know, if I wasn’t an actor, I would love to be an investigative journalist. Or a spy! I wouldn’t want to kill anyone, but the research and all the details …I find that with a role like this, or any part, doing the research to find out who the character is and what their motivations are – for me, that’s the most fun.
And with this, I’m playing a woman who is trained to be unemotional, and analytically precise. When playing that, I’ve still got to find the humanity inside of her, inside of that arc of where she begins the movie and where she ends. And at that […]

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ co-star Jason Clarke Speaks!

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ co-star Jason Clarke speaks: I had the pleasure of speaking in person with him a few weeks back at a luncheon in New York City, and Jason was kind enough to schedule a longer talk over the phone shortly thereafter. He’s a lot of fun to just shoot the breeze with, but he also has plenty to say about the Oscar hopeful film he has out now, as well as what’s coming up next for him.

Jason Clarke: Hi Joey, how are you mate?
Joey Magidson: I’m doing well, how about you?
Jason: Good, where are you?
Joey: I’m actually back in New York…
Jason: Nice!
Joey: Indeed, since I saw you last at that lunch…
Jason: Oh fuck, now I know who you are! Yea yea, good good good. How’s your dog?
Joey: He’s doing much better. We were at the emergency room actually right after that, but he’s fine now. He’s apparently much younger than we thought too, so it’s really like having a newborn in the apartment.
Jason: Oh my god.
Joey: It’s rough, but he’s super smart, so that’s good.
to read more about Jason’s inteview go to
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Lindsay Lohan allegedly hoping to avoid jail with rehab Lindsay Lohan could be facing some serious jail time as a result of her recent legal issues, but now she might be making a last ditch effort to avoid jail.
It is rumored that Lindsay is hoping to avoid jail time by checking into rehab, states RadarOnline. Her legal team is allegedly encouraging her to go to rehab for at least six months in order to save her life.
Lindsay has reportedly been reluctant, but now that she is facing jail time, she might be checking into rehab instead.
Do you think she’ll go to rehab?
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Lady Gaga shows support for Lindsay Lohan’s ‘Liz & Dick’ Lindsay Lohan might have gotten a lot of poor reviews for ‘Liz & Dick,’ but one person who has her back is Lady Gaga.
Gaga took to Twitter to recently show her support to the struggling actress, states E! News. “@lindsaylohan you did a beautiful job on Liz & Dick, Let no one bring u down, Liz didnt, they always try to knock the greats down a few pegs,” Gaga tweeted.
And Lindsay was sure to write her supporter back: “@ladygaga thank you so much!”
What do you think about Lady Gaga’s support of Lindsay?
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