September 17, 2015
        "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                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: steven spielberg

“Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for September

Now that we’re well into the month of September, it’s time to kick predictions into high gear. It’ll be twice a month now in terms of updates, especially now that we’re also knee deep in the fall festival season. I love this time of year so much, which makes this a pleasure, but still…it’s crunch time. You really want to start making these predictions as close to accurate as possible at this point, so while it’s still fun, it’s also work. As you’ll see below, I’ve made some changes in light of festivals like Telluride, Venice, and now the start of Toronto, with New York to come next week. Suffice to say, by the end of the month when I update these predictions, they’ll likely already be out of date.
The big thing to take note of here is that I’ve bumped down The Martian from winning in the major categories. Now, the film did just premiere at TIFF and the early word is rather terrific, so why did I do that? Well, some of the praise makes it seem more likely of a nominee than perhaps expected by others, but maybe less of a winner as well. We’ll see, but for now, I’m experimenting and backing off. I’m also doing it in favor of seeing how Our Brand is Crisis looks in the top spot. I’ll adjust if the word up north isn’t too favorable for that one, but right now, I’m trying that out. Time will tell how it looks, but I’ll change it up in a few weeks if it’s clear I’ve made a blunder…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now is my up date Academy Award predictions. Enjoy:
1. Our Brand is Crisis
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Steve Jobs
5. Carol
6. The Martian
7. Spotlight
8. Joy
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. The Danish Girl 13. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 14. Inside Out 15. Black Mass 16. By the Sea 17. Sicario 18. The End of the Tour 19. The Walk 20. Trainwreck 21. Beasts of No Nation 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Macbeth 24. Suffragette 25. Lion 26. Mad Max: Fury Road 27. Freeheld 28. I Saw The Light 29. Room 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

“The Martian”: Oscar predictions for August

It’s almost crunch time folks! Yes, this is the last set of predictions before we start to get into fall festival season (pay close attention to the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival), which in turn launches the Oscar race. As such, you won’t see a ton of changes here this time around, but be prepared for a lot of contenders to move around during the next update or two. I might be going to twice a month for predictions come September, so it’s going to be interesting seeing how these potential players do or do not shape up in the race. As such, this update represents a definite demarcation in the year. From here on out, it’s truly awards season for all of us…
The latest Trailer for The Martian (which you can see below) keeps it at the tip top for me right now, and that’s I suppose the most noteworthy aspect here. I’ve been tempted to try something else up at the top, but I’m going to wait until I see otherwise from Ridley Scott’s film or something else truly blows me away. When that day comes (possibly during NYFF or TIFF), I’ll amend as necessary, but for now, it remains. You’ll see everything below, and obviously sit tight, as more predictions will be coming in just a few weeks!
First off, here’s that new Trailer for The Martian:

Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
1. The Martian
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Our Brand is Crisis
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. Inside Out
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. By the Sea 13. Miles Ahead 14. The Walk 15. MacBeth 16. The End of the Tour 17. Freeheld 18. Trainwreck 19. The Danish Girl 20. Lion 21. Spotlight 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Southpaw 24. Sicario 25. Black Mass 26. Suffragette 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. I Saw The Light 29. Straight Outta Compton 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Todd Haynes – Carol
4. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
5. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
Next in line: 6. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. John Crowley […]

2015 Pictures: Hollywood Contenders – Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Joy, The Revenant, Steve Jobs, The Walk, Inside Out

2015 PICTURES: Hollywood Contenders – Preliminary potentials in alphabetical order
At this time of the awards season the Hollywood Contenders list includes the following 2015 features (in alphabetical order): Black Mass. Our Brand Is Crisis, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Steve Jobs, Inside Out, The Walk.
The “Hollywood Contenders”: We provide year-round analysis and breaking news. A one stop shop for readers looking to get all the information on the year’s award contenders including the crafts.
Black Mass director Scott Cooper- SEP 18

Our Brand Is Crisis, director David Gordon Green – OCT 30

Bridge of Spies, Dreamworks/Disney,director Steven Spielberg – OCT 16

Carol, Weinstein Co., director by Todd Hayes – NOV 20

The Danish Girl, Focus, director Tom Hooper – NOV 27

Joy, Fox, director David O’Russell – DEC 25

The Hateful Eight, TWC, director Quentin Tarantino – DEC 25

Inside Out, Disney/Ani, director Peter Docter – JUNE 19

Joy, Fox, director David O. Russell – DEC 25
The Revenant, Fox, director Alejandro Inarritu – DEC 25

Steve Jobs, Universal, director Danny Boyle – OCT 9

The Walk, Columbia, director Robert Zemekis – Oct 9

“Bridge of Spies” highlights the NYFF Main Slate

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS: Earlier today, the New York Film Festival announced the movies that would be playing in their Main Slate at the 2015 incarnation of the fest. We already knew that the Opening Night film would be The Walk, the Centerpiece film would be Steve Jobs, and the Closing Night film would be Miles Ahead, but now we know a great deal more about what will be on tap this fall. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of Oscar bait, just the way we like it around here. NYFF always tends to deliver the goods, but even by their own high standards they really seem to have nailed the slate this time around, including the debut of a big time Best Picture player.
Yes, the big addition is the World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s Cold War spy thriller Bridge of Spies. Initially thought of as a likely premiere, it wasn’t among the initial three announcements, but the powers that be now have a big four, it seems. Spielberg’s latest has got to be considered a pretty major Academy Award contender, so launching here at the fest gives it just another added boost in helping to appeal to voters as the fall turns into the winter. Spielberg took Lincoln to NYFF a few years back as a Secret Screening, so he’s no stranger to the environment. Presumably, he’d like a similarly rapturous response this time around, though time will obviously tell in that regard.
Also of note among the Main Slate (which you’ll see below) are Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, John Crowley’s Brooklyn, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan, and Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next. That’s just a small sampling of what the New York Film Festival will have to offer. Those will likely be potential Oscar nominees this year, but there will be plenty of eclectic things to check out. That’s part of NYFF’s charm…the overt variety.
Take a gander at the list of titles within the NYFF press release from this afternoon:
The 53rd New York Film Festival Main Slate
Opening Night
The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Steve Jobs
Director: Danny Boyle
Closing Night
Miles Ahead
Director: Don Cheadle
Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One
Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One
Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One
Director: Miguel Gomes
The Assassin
Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien
Bridge of Spies
Director: Steven Spielberg
Director: John Crowley
Director: Todd Haynes
Cemetery of Splendour
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Les Cowboys
Director: Thomas Bidegain
Don’t Blink: Robert Frank
Director: Laura Israel
Director: Michael Almereyda
The Forbidden Room
Directors: Guy […]

Ridley Scott: Looking at potential Best Director contenders

Ahoy! As you folks all know from last year as well as my article last week, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with the second biggest one that’s out there…the Best Director category.
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Ridley Scott (The Martian) – Yes, I’m out on a limb with this one, but I’m sticking with it for a while longer. Scott hasn’t made a truly great film in a very long time, but all it takes is the right material, and this one is amazing source material. If the film manages to be in play for a Best Picture nomination, Scott could be right there with the movie itself. I’m fascinated to see if it can contend like I think it can, so stay tuned there…
2. Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies) – You really can’t make a list of the contenders in this category and not have Spielberg somewhere high up in your top five. Sure, this is perhaps a bit too standard of an Oscar bait type flick, but it’s that way at least in part because the formula works. As long as the film doesn’t disappoint, you can expect Spielberg and the project itself to be heavily in play all year long.
3. David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis) *Possible 2016 release – A total hunch of mine, but if it winds up ready for release/dated for 2015, it could be an under the radar player to contend with. A political dramedy/satire can be […]

“The Martian”: Looking at potential Best Picture contenders

Welcome to July folks. Much like I said last year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once a week (or maybe twice a week) for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet for you all.
Today I’m beginning with the big one, of course…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. The Martian – A total hunch, I concede, but this is something with almost limitless potential. The Trailer was fantastic, the talent involved is top notch, and the book is a modern classic in my eyes. It’ll all depend on the execution on the part of Ridley Scott, but if he’s on his game and Matt Damon is his reliable self in the title role, there’s a chance we could see science fiction contend for a Best Picture win. Could this do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t? Stay tuned to find out…
2. Bridge of Spies – The safe bet right now, this latest collaboration between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has all the trappings of an easy pick to win. The thing is, that film almost never wins anymore, so I feel like having it in the number two spot makes total sense at the moment. Things can and likely will change, but while my top pick is a bold shot in the dark, this one’s high ranking is almost the de facto vote if you sit down and think about it. That takes nothing from its potential, as it looks very good, but Hanks and Spielberg are trafficking in Oscar bait here, plain and simple.
3. Our Brand is Crisis – Something you’ll notice in a few places here is that I’m taking chances. This is another case of that, since there’s no assurances that David Gordon Green’s political dramedy/satire will even be ready this year. It could be a […]

“The Martian”: Oscar Predictions for June 2015

I’d been planning all week to write about Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s The Martian, which debuted an incredible Trailer at the start of the week, but decided to hold off and incorporate it into my new Oscar predictions update. Why? Well, mainly because the film appears to be exceeding even my high expectations. I said after the Trailer debut of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Bridge of Spies that you couldn’t bet against that one right now, but if you want to be bold, The Martian is one route to take. You’ll see in my predictions that I’ve decided to get a bit risky this time out…
Yes, instead of just going with as many obvious frontrunners for Academy Awards as possible, I’m looking to see what some fresh blood here and there might look like. As such, The Martian is really all over the place, doing better than any other film. A long shot? Perhaps, but everything so far suggests a special movie, so I’m banking that the book I adore so much was faithfully executed by Scott and company. If that’s the case, it easily could do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t, which is to really contend for a Best Picture win. Time will tell, but this update shows that at least I think it potentially has a chance. The Academy will have its say eventually, but right now, this is how I see things going.
Here now, without further delay, are my newest Oscar predictions:
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Our Brand is Crisis
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Carol
6. The Revenant
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Inside Out 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. Black Mass 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Trainwreck 26. Sicario 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
3. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. David O. Russell – Joy 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. […]

Ranking the films in the “Jurassic Park” franchise

Tomorrow, audiences across the globe are going to be treated to the latest “Jurassic” film when Jurassic World hits theaters. No longer under embargo, I’m allowed to say that it’s pretty enjoyable, if really rather ridiculous. The movie isn’t the best of the franchise, but it’s nowhere near the worst either, so it makes for a perfect opportunity to rank the films in the series to date. I’ll also include a few extra thoughts below on Jurassic World (basically a mini review), since I had to keep it vague earlier this week, but I’ll be talking about all four films in the franchise, from Jurassic Park to third sequel/reboot Jurassic World. I hope you all enjoy!
As promised, first an initial take on Jurassic World, just to start painting a picture for everyone. Again…it’s ridiculous. In short, it’s like eating a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. What do I mean by that? It’s got no nutritional value and it’s not something you want to think much about later in the day, but in the moment it’s delicious. Essentially, it’s just another popcorn film, but an enjoyable one, so there’s that. Chris Pratt is solid, Bryce Dallas Howard has a few nice moments, and Jake Johnson is quality comic relief, but the dinosaurs are the main event. Co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow wisely apes Steven Spielberg in holding back on the mayhem, but he does seek to replicate the spectacle, this time with a functioning park. The results don’t always work, including the imposing Indominus Rex being a bit ridiculous, but for popcorn entertainment, this certainly does the trick. You could definitely do a lot worse this weekend…
Without further delay, here now is how I would rank the films in this franchise:
1. Jurassic Park – An all time great summer blockbuster, Spielberg made something instantly iconic here. A liberal adaptation of the Michael Crichton bestseller, this thrill ride upped the game not just for special effects work, but also effects driven storytelling. It holds up brilliantly still today, making it not just the clear best installment of this franchise, but one of the best action adventure tales of all time. An instant classic then, it remains one to this day. As such, it’s far and a way the tops of this series. The first is still very much the best in this particular case.
2. Jurassic World – As mentioned above, this isn’t […]

“Jurassic World” arrives to restart a classic franchise

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t consider Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park to be an overt classic. You can find people who don’t care much for either of the sequels, but the first one is almost undisputedly one of the best blockbusters ever. Now, I can’t actually say much about this new one, as I’m under embargo until tomorrow, but later on this week I’ll be ranking all four films in the franchise (the other two being The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III), so they’ll all get mini reviews, essentially. Right now though, I want to look at what Jurassic World brings to the table as the re-birth of the franchise, as well as a hotly anticipated summer title. The movie will have a big audience, no doubt about that…
You’d have to be living under a rock to not know what this series of films is about, especially since it’s right there in the title, though this one really only asks you to have seen the first one. Almost two decades later, the park filled with living dinosaurs is now open, with tourists galore filling it daily. In an effort to boost attendance, a new genetically modified dinosaur is created, one that’s a mixture of all sorts of gnarly things, which obviously is a bad idea. Before long, it has escaped containment and begins to run amok, leading to the entire Jurassic World island being eventually under siege by previously extinct animals. Spielberg only produces here, as Colin Trevorrow is co-writing (with Derek Connelly, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver) and directing. The cast for this one is almost all fresh, with one exception (BD Wong), and is led by Chris Pratt. Also on hand is Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, and more. In place of the iconic John Williams and his music (though pieces of it can be heard), legend in the making Michael Giacchino is composing the score. In spirit, this wants to be more like Jurassic Park than either of the sequels, something that the promotional material has made abundantly clear.
The reason that this is such a high profile summer event film and not just another would be blockbuster is the love that folks have for the first outing. The two sequels serve their purpose, but they don’t compare to Jurassic Park. Obviously, […]

Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” gets a compelling Trailer

It’s been a pretty good week for Trailers, I must say that. We’ve already gotten looks at a number of potential Academy Award players, including Everest and The Walk, but now Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks throw their hat into the ring with Bridge of Spies. This dramatic Cold War thriller, which got a Poster just yesterday, is considered by many to be the Oscar frontrunner in a number of categories, including Best Picture. As such, this was looked at with much anticipation, to say the least. You’ll be able to see the Trailer below, but take it from me…this looks like a contender to reckon with folks.
The story here has an American attorney (Hanks) being recruited by the CIA during the height of the Cold War to help rescue a downed pilot detained in the Soviet Union, while also negotiating the swap of a Soviet prison held by the United States. Hanks leads the charge, with Alan Alda, Domenick Lombardozzi, Billy Magnussen, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, and Austin Stowell also in the cast. Spielberg obviously directs, with Matt Charman having written the script that was then polished up by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (yes, the Coen Brothers along with Hanks and Spielberg). Janusz Kaminski is the cinematographer here and Thomas Newman composes the score, making for a truly A-list crop of talent involved in this one.
From the Trailer, it appears that Spielberg is working well within his comfort zone, albeit with a superb master’s touch. Hanks looks great, while the thriller nature of it will surely be a box office draw. They may not be reinventing the wheel here, but it appears to be smart adult cinema that will more than satisfy in the fall. There’s no doubt that this is poised to be something pitched directly at members of the Academy. You can’t possibly know if voters will respond just yet, but there’s no reason to amend any predictions after this first look. Everything suggests an Oscar contender from the word go.
Awards wise, the possibilities are basically limitless here. Best Picture obviously comes to mind, including pseudo frontrunner status, but that’s not all. There’s also Best Director (for Spielberg), Best Actor (for Hanks) Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (for Ryan), Best Supporting Actor (for Alda, Magnussen, or Rylance), Best Original Screenplay (for Charman and the Coens), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, […]

Page 1 of 1812345...10...Last »