David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints follows an outlaw (Casey Affleck), his wife (Rooney Mara), and the local sheriff (Ben Foster) through 1970s Texas. The film won the U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award…
Much like last year, since there’s no official Awards Circuit presence over at the Cannes Film Festival, I plan to bring you the initial reactions to some of the high profile movies making their debuts. First up we have Sofia Coppola’s latest film The Bling Ring, which stars Emma Watson and features in its cast folks like Kirsten Dunst, Leslie Mann, and more. So far, it’s opened to a mixed bag of initial reactions on Twitter (along with a few officially posted reviews). You can find a sample of those quick responses after the jump (Thanks to Matt Singer at Criticwire for finding these for his initial report), but stay tuned for much more on The Bling Ring…
This is a nice quick glimpse at what we will see in Disney’s newest film, Planes, directed by Klay Hall. The clip is about two and a half minutes long, and is set to the film’s score by composer Mark Mancina. Voice talents include Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Cedric the Entertainer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, and more! Planes has an ETA for theaters on August 9.
Regarded by many to be the greatest actress of all time, Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut. Miss Hepburn holds the distinction of being the only actor or actress to win four competitive Academy Awards, but her road to stardom was perhaps a little more arduous than most people realize. Hepburn began her career on stage after graduating from Bryn Mawr College with degrees in history and philosophy. Her career on stage began quickly, however, her start was anything but successful.
“I don’t think that there’s anything worse than being ordinary.”
In spite of the white picket fences, manicured lawns, and two car garages, plaguing the heart of the American Dream is the underlying pestilence of an ordinary existence. In accordance with the old adage of “art imitating life,” contemporary American life has been and continues to be a favorite subject of satire, criticism, and reflection in film. The “picture-perfect” fallacy of the suburban lifestyle consistently fairs well (or not) in big-screen representations as a particularly potent point of fascination for both filmmakers and audiences alike. Ranging from coming-of-age stories like The Graduate (1967) and American Graffiti (1973)to unflinching satires like Fight Club (1999) and American Psycho (2000), the discussion of modern American values plants seeds of dissent between social norms and expectations and personal desires and outlooks. Two films that draw uncanny parallels to one another as musings on the disconnect between the image of American suburbia and its flawed human representatives are Sam Mendes‘ acclaimed American Beauty (1999) and Ang Lee’s lesser-known, though still appreciated, The Ice Storm (1997). Though not nearly on the same scale of resonance and cultural or cinematic impact, the obvious similarities between the two films make them rivaling meditations on American Suburbia ripe for comparison. Read more on Masters of Suburbia: How ‘American Beauty’ Weathers ‘The Ice Storm’…
There can only be one winner…and it should be Candice Glover.
Wow, can you believe American Idol is wrapping up its twelfth season already? I feel like the auditions were just yesterday, and speaking of…from the moment the season began, we had our frontrunner. That never changed, not even after tonight. With a killer conclusion to a very strong season (though not perfect by any means) of Idol, the winner was clear as day. Candice Glover and Kree Harrison both impressed tonight, but the show is designed to reward only one with a shower of confetti and the many rewards that come afterwards. Thank goodness my objectivity and subjectivity aligned on the most important night of competition. Here goes the review session, one last time… Read more on American Idol Recap: Finale Review…
Anyone who’s a fan of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz has likely been looking forward to The World’s End for some time now. The third and presumably final part of a loose series of films that Edgar Wright has been making with Simon Pegg, this one seems to be more of a satirizing of alien invasion/disaster movie trends, as you can see in this Teaser Trailer that recently hit. Pegg and Wright worked together on the script, with Pegg and Nick Frost again in major roles, alongside plenty of new faces. It seems about what you’d expect, and while I’m bigger on Shaun than Fuzz, I’m certainly looking forward to it. Take a gander below and see for yourself…
If you listened to the Awards Circuit Power Hour two weeks ago, then you heard the winners read for the Awards Circuit Community Awards – Year 1999. For those who didn’t have the chance to listen to the winners, the full list is down below. As you can see, the readership of the Awards Circuit still agrees that Sam Mendes’American Beauty was the best film of the year seen by the wins in Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay.
Kevin Spacey reclaimed his title, winning Best Actor in a Leading Role over Russell Crowe. While in the real world, Annette Bening has never received recognition from AMPAS, she was chosen over Oscar-winner Hilary Swank. In the Supporting categories Tom Cruise was awarded for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’sMagnolia while Angelina Jolie reclaimed her prize for Girl, Interrupted. PT Anderson’s film also won Best Cast Ensemble. In Adapted Screenplay, Jim Uhls triumphed for penning David Fincher’s Fight Club, the only award the film received surprisingly, given it was the most nominated film with twelve.
The entire cast of the Oscar nominated film Rio (2011) returns for the sequel, due to hit theaters April 11, 2014. In Rio 2, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their children leave their domesticated life in Rio de Janeiro for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter an assortment of new and wild characters along the way. Andy Garcia, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, Kristin Chenoweth, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, and more will provide the voices.
Next week is the finale of Dancing with the Stars, and I have to admit that this is the strongest group of celebrities fighting for the mirror ball trophy. Any one of them could win and I would be happy with the results. The four stars safe to compete next week, have worked their asses off to be in the finale and deserve to win.
Summit Entertainment has released a new still for their highly anticipated new film, Divergent. The Descendants’ Shailene Woodley stars in this futuristic, dystopian tale in which she leaves her people to join a rival group. The film is based on the popular young adult novel by Veronica Roth. After the jump, have a look at an image from a point in the story when Tris (Woodley) begins her initiation into the Dauntless faction. Divergent also stars Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, and Maggie Q, and has a March 21, 2014 release date.
It’s time to dive, dive in deep…well, at least as deep as you can in May. As I attempted to unveil the newest set of Oscar Predictions, I realized how many promising films are left to be seen in the remaining seven months. As of now, the only real Best Picture contender that has the legs to make it until the end of the year would be Sarah Polley’sStories We Tell, and that’s a longshot at best given its genre. You can make arguments for films like The Place Beyond the Pines by Derek Cianfrance and even Mud by Jeff Nichols but those will need a well-placed DVD release with a focused campaign, something I’m not sure the studios are willing to bet on. Cianfrance’s film also has an outside shot for Screenplay and a Supporting Actor mention for Ryan Gosling. If anything, this helps him for Nicolas Winding Refn’sOnly God Forgives, if they’re feeling like recognizing him a second time. It feels like eons ago when Gosling was nominated for Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson (2006) and then later missed other opportunities for Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Blue Valentine (2010), and Drive (2011). Not sure when it will be before he gets back onto the Oscar radar.
Our editor, Clayton Davis, has recently unveiled his most recent Oscar predictions. In his front-runner spot for Lead Actor is veteran actor Bruce Dern for his upcoming turn in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. I currently have Dern in the number five slot, but after this interesting first look at the film, I’m thinking Mr. Davis might be on to something. It isn’t much, but Dern packs a whole lot into this two-minute scene. Nebraska will screen at Cannes, giving us a little more information on the film – and Dern’s performance – before it goes into limited release on November 22.
As Sony Pictures Classics gears up for the release of Richard Linklater’s beautifully crafted and poignant Before Midnight, the studio has released a clip for your viewing pleasure. In this clip, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) are walking through the beautiful scenery of Greece, speaking about the things they would or would not like to change about each other.
You can read the full review of the film from the Tribeca Film Festival. I suspect the film will be at the very least, a huge contender in Adapted Screenplay but it should definitely be more.
Stuart Beattle’s upcoming horror/thriller I, Frankenstein was announced as being pushed back to 2014 this past April. The film, that stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, and Mirando Otto, has just released the poster for your viewing pleasure. From the producers of Underworld, the film is based on the comics by Kevin Grevioux, which he co-adapts with Stuart Beattle.
It seems odd to me how many people feel the need to choose between Star Wars andStar Trek. Maybe it’s because I feel one is way better than the other (dodges those who’ve set their weapons to stun), but the main point is: why do we have to choose? Why not appreciate both for what they are, just like J.J. Abrams will now have to do being that he has both directed the Star Trek reboot (and the upcoming sequal, Star Trek Into Darkness) along with being hired to film Star Wars Episide VII. In his interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, the pair discussed the differences in the franchise and what makes each special.
The twelfth season of American Idol is getting ready to call it curtains this upcoming Wednesday with our first all-girl finale since Season 3′s Diana DeGarmo took on eventual winner, Fantasia Barrino. This time we have the vocally masterful Candice Glover taking on the poised and humble country girl, Kree Harrison. Staff Writer Joseph Braverman has done an outstanding job recapping all the episodes this season, as well as taking on the less than enthusiastic show from NBC.
Recapping the season, it’s been pretty impressive. We’re finally getting a female winner this year after being given the finger since Season 6′s Jordin Sparks. With a definite sign of manipulation that was set from the season jump, this year was riddled with poor choices for male contestants to set up an eventual all-five female lineup, an Idol first. There was also in the inclusion of Lazaro Arbos, the stuttering Miami native that forgot lyrics week after week and managed to outlast every guy in the competition. With Randy Jackson announcing his departure from Idol after the finale, rumors are swirling that all the judges including executive producer Nigel Lythgoe will be replaced next season. Read more on American Idol Season 12 Retrospective – Top 10 Performances of the Season!…
With Star Trek into Darkness, director J.J. Abrams has not only made one of the most action packed Star Trek films to date, he’s also made the most compelling case yet for him to successfully cross over into the world of Star Wars. This is a space adventure, pure and simple, so Trekkies may take issue with certain things, though regular audiences members are likely in for a rollicking good time at the movies.
Abrams is his normally reliable self here, and if he shows some extra confidence behind the camera after a successful first time out with this franchise, so does the entire returning cast, as well as writers Alex Kurtzman,Roberto Orci, and Damon Lindelof. Armed with raised stakes and not having to waste time introducing all the characters, the minds behind this flick are able to drop you right into the thick of things and rarely put on the brakes. This is a pretty tense two hours and change, and I’d even make the argument that the film could stand to be a little longer. Though hardly perfect by any stretch, this is one of the most fun things I’ve seen in 2013 so far.
This week, there’s again somewhat of a shortage in terms of new releases to choose from on Blu-Ray/DVD. It’s not necessarily some sort of atrocious day for movies or anything of that nature, but it’s just not a period where a ton of things are hitting shelves, and honestly this is something that’s going to be more or less the norm during these upcoming summer months. The highest profile title is going to excite some people, but it’s not exactly the type of film that unites folks in any way. It really is in contention for top honors this week mostly due to a lack of competition. I thought about my other choices, but ultimately my PICK OF THE WEEK really wasn’t any sort of choice at all, as you’ll see. I wound up going with the aforementioned notable flick, which some on this site (and staff) love, while others are rather lukewarm on. I like it enough to be okay with this recommendation, but a little more in the way of choice would have been pleasing. Anyway, I’ll reveal that film a little later, but for now, why don’t we dive into the always enjoyable world of Vintage picks!