Clint Eastwood’s new film J. Edgar has screened and been reacted to, and the response…decidedly mixed. Most seem to praise Leonardo DiCaprio for his portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover, but many are saying the film is unfocused and somewhat of a letdown. As a bit of a primer, here’s The Hollywood Reporter’s mostly positive review (here), Variety’s mostly negative review (here), and In Contention’s mixed review (here).
Read more on First J. Edgar Reviews Hit!…
It would appear that “The Adventures Of Tintin” has qualified and more intriguingly, the potential exists for 5 nominees this year! The information below is from the AMPAS Press Release!
18 Animated Features Submitted for 2011 Oscar® Race
Beverly Hills, CA (November 4, 2011)– Eighteen features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 84th Academy Awards®.The 18 submitted features are:
Read more on BREAKING! 18 Animated Features Qualify For The Oscar…
Stiller and Murphy and Alda and Broderick, oh my!
I have to admit that as I settled in to watch Brett Ratner’s “Tower Heist”, I had tempered my expectations way down. Brett Ratner has been a scattershot filmmaker at best, with an off-putting ego to match. The last two holiday seasons, Ben Stiller has sleepwalked his way through a third “Fockers” film in December 2010, and winced noticeably through the wheezing ca$h cow of a sequel in 2009′s “Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian”. Eddie Murphy has not been on screen in more than two years (not counting his vocalizing of Donkey from the “Shrek” franchise), and his track record over the last several years, sans his 2006 Oscar-nominated turn in “Dreamgirls”, has been disposable and unremarkable. And there is just not much of a career anymore for Matthew Broderick, who has struggled to sustain relevancy, and stand apart for being anything more than Sarah Jessica Parker’s husband. “Tower Heist” presents with all the makings of a big budget catastrophe, but after a few minutes, you notice Ben Stiller has an extra zip in his step, the timing amongst the actors feels crisp and on point, and Ratner’s introductions to Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, and Michael Pena are well orchestrated and engaging.
Read more on Tower Heist (***)…
In the 90’s MTV had an identity little cable networks can match. They appealed to the youth with its terrific shows like “TRL: Total Request Live” and “Yo! MTV Raps.” Even when it first introduced the reality television phenomenon it’s mostly known for now, it held its creative and enlightening manner with the beginning seasons of “The Real World,” “Making the Video,” and even “The Grind” had mass appeal. All these shows centered on the theme which the network has lost focus of in the last ten years or so, MUSIC. Go figure. It’s Music Television and they hardly show it any longer.
Read more on TV Review: “Beavis & Butthead” (***)…
With J. Edgar and The Iron Lady likely to play big roles in the upcoming awards season and Oscars, I though a look at the great biographical films might be kind of cool. Let me know which ones you like.
Far too often film biographies play like a “greatest hits” album, focusing only on the best known events in the subject’s life. Other times the character’s life is glossed over, overly sentimentalized so that we barely recognize the subject or life being explored. For me, the hope is that I will emerge from the film knowing more about the subject than when I entered the theater, but far too often that has not been the case. Only in recent years have film biographies (biopics) really come into their own, as there has been more pressure on the storytellers to tell the real story, to get to the meat of the character and try and find out what made them tick. Show them warts and all, because it is the flaws that we human, those flaws connect each of us to the human race. Most film biopics tell the story of a lie or events surrounding a real happening, and for many years they were romanticized by Hollywood to be a pale shadow of what had really happened. As previously mentioned, in recent years, there has been a great deal more honesty on screen when dealing when a biographical subject or true events. Certainly the person(s) being portrayed deserve that respect, and the historical events deserve to be shown as they were rather than as moviemakers imagine them to be.
Read more on On Great Biopics…
We now enter the month of November, which is an interesting year for us Oscar-watchers because it’s just on the cusp of the typically back-loaded season. This means an odd mixture of big pictures that feel like summer film rejects, with several intriguing if not sure-fire prestige hits. Let’s take a look:
The guaranteed hit of the weekend is without question Tower Heist, the heist comedy from Brett Ratner, perhaps the most well-known working director without a single identifiable artistic stamp to his work. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy headline a cast of blue collar workers aiming to steal from the billionaire who defrauded them. It’s got an all-star cast (including Gabourey Sidibe in her first major film post-Precious) with a high concept zeitgeisty premise and decent-ish reviews…what’s not to love? Well, how about its racist overtones? Am I the only one who finds the idea of a smooth-tawkin’ black man teaching a bunch of neurotic white guys how to be thieves a little, oh I don’t know, objectionable? *Sigh*…never mind. I’m predicting about $25-30 million opening. Read more on Weekend Openings (November 4-6)…
The X Factor has been broadcast for several weeks on FOX and last night, the Top 12 acts took the stage for the first time for America’s votes. I waited until the LIVE shows to start tackling the recap episodes. The show is still very solid and I stand by my three and half star review on its premiere. Here’s a recap and commentary from last night’s show:
Stereo Hoggz – “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson – (**)
-Stereo Hoggz are a decent group and have decent capabilities for an R&B group. They don’t have a real sense of identity yet however, and I feel that may be their undoing in the competition. The choreography was very good as mentor Paula Abdul can clearly do well but better song choices are needed.
Chris Rene – “Superstar” by The Carpenters (**)
-Chris was one of my favorites from the auditions bringing his smooth, cool, Jason Mraz vibe. Ever since the LIVE shows, including last week and perhaps we can blame mentor L.A. Reid, Chris doesn’t seem to be gelling with the movements of the show. The arrangement was cool but his vocals were very uneven and a little pitchy. I hope for better things from Chris.
Read more on X Factor Recap: Top 12 Performance & Results…
-An update to this story is yes, Fox will be waging a campaign for Serkis.-
Original article: Buried within a Deadline article about Andy Serkis getting signed up for a Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel is a bit about Fox potentially campainging for Serkis to get an Oscar nod for his work as Caesar. Here’s the story from Deadline:
When Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘s $453 million worldwide gross was listed as a bright spot in the quarterly earnings of beleaguered NewsCorp, you know a sequel is a big 20th Century Fox priority. So who did the studio lock in first? No, it wasn’t James Franco or Freida Pinto. The studio just closed what I’m told is a healthy seven-figure deal for Andy Serkis to reprise his role as lead ape Caesar. Serkis had only signed on for one movie, so his reps had leverage in ensuring that he come back to continue leading the ape takeover in multiple future installments of the series.
Read more on Will Fox actually mount a campaign for Andy Serkis?…