There are so many opinions about why Asians can’t take lead roles in Hollywood, but I think they can. With numbers and ratings for TV shows going down, I believe it has, in large part, to do with the fact that the minorities aren’t represented, therefore, the show takes a backseat to others. Not only that, but Asians are seen as jokers, comedic relief, and background actors so that they’re not ignored, but the truth of the matter is, Hollywood needs to start putting in minorities. With America being the great melting pot it is, there is no longer a valid excuse for their absence on shows.
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Something that many never thought would ever happen is going on in Hollywood right now. Yes, ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ is in pre-production, and it’s not even being fully brought to us by George Lucas. We’re all aware by now that Oscar winner Michael Arndt has been hired to pen the script, and filmmakers like Colin Trevorrow and Matthew Vaughn have been rumored to be taking the directing job. Of course, A-listers like J.J. Abrams, Zach Snyder, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino have already pretty much said no, while people like David Fincher and Christopher Nolan aren’t really even worth seriously discussing. That got me thinking though…who else would get people excited? I know Brad Bird is a popular name, but I wanted to get the input of the community here at The Awards Circuit. I’ll be sharing seven names that I’d be interested in seeing get the gig (not including Matt Reeves, who I always put in pieces like this and decided to take a short break from), but I’m just as interested in getting your names as I am in sharing mine. We’re likely not too far out from finding out who the directing choice of Disney is, so before long we’ll know the director of a new Star Wars movie! Until then, here are my picks for filmmakers who could do a good job with the new trilogy…
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Tags: Andrew Stanton
, Brad Bird
, Christopher Nolan
, Colin Trevorrow
, David Fincher
, Drew Goddard
, Duncan Jones
, Edgar Wright
, Episode VII
, George Lucas
, J.J. Abrams
, Joe Johnston
, Jon Favreau
, Josh Trank
, Mark Romanek
, Matt Reeves
, Matthew Vaughn
, Michael Arndt
, Quentin Tarantino
, Star Wars
, Steven Spielberg
, upcoming projects
, Zach Snyder
Now that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is out in theaters, it sort of feels like we’ve reached a milestone point in the realm of superhero flicks…perhaps even an apex if you will. Everything that will come next for the genre will be judged on a different playing field due to that film and this year’s ‘The Avengers’ as well (essentially you now have to go big or go home). Those two films were as anticipated as any other major comic book film out there, and some might say the hype has been as much as any other big flick in general. As most people would argue that 2012 has seen the release of two of the best superhero movies of all time, I thought it was only proper to give a little rundown of what I think are the 10 best of all time (at least so far). Obviously there are lots of contenders for a list like this one, some more universally embraced than others, and it’s fair to say that no two people would come up with the same combination of flicks, but this is mine, so just keep that in mind as you read on. Of course I’ll want you all to give your picks later in the comments, but for now let’s get started and focus on my picks and see where things go from there. Which filmmakers who took multiple dips into the superhero pool got a citation from me here? Did I give any love to Tim Burton’s contributions to the genre? What about Jon Favreau’s? Presumably Christopher Nolan’s, right? Perhaps Sam Raimi’s? Bryan Singer’s could be in play, couldn’t they? Maybe even Joel Schumaker’s? (I assure you I did not go that route). First off, here are some that just missed the cut for me when compiling this list of lifesavers…
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As anyone who read my review of the film, I’d pretty much discounted the possibility that ‘The Avengers’ could be a player for any major Academy Awards outside of the technical categories (though I did sort of make the case for SAG to notice the ensemble, as much as that might be wishful thinking), but as the box office continues to break records, I’m beginning to amend my position somewhat. I’m not completely changing course here, but I’ve begun to ponder a few things, leading to this piece. It’s still a long shot, but there could be a way for the film to get a Best Picture nomination, and much of it revolves around Marvel partnering with Disney on the flick’s distribution and marketing. Yes, as much as that initial partnership decision had no impact on the creative product that Marvel Studios was producing, it could have a major impact on a potential Oscar campaign. Just think about what the folks at Disney were able to do with ‘The Help’ last year, and ‘Toy Story 3′ as well. Backed by a studio with experience in awards campaigning and major connections to the Oscar race, ‘The Avengers’ could wind up, even more than ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ potentially, being the blockbuster that makes a play for Best Picture. Factor in its previously unheard of box office numbers, and there’s a case that can be made for Joss Whedon’s film. Let’s dive into that right now, why don’t we?
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Now that we saw the first wave of titles that will be playing In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year (there will be more movies added, but it’s unlikely that any of the high profile omissions will be added…though you never can be sure with Cannes), it’s fair for an Oscar Prognosticator like myself to start wondering what kind of impact the fest could have on the awards season. Historically, most Best Picture winners don’t get their start there (though of course ‘No Country for Old Men’ did), though nominees in that category are certainly more common…just look to last year when both ‘Midnight in Paris’ and ‘The Tree of Life’ launched at Cannes. As for this year, without having any indication of quality it’s hard to tell, but I’m inclined to think that we may not see any of the titles break through to Oscar in any real way. That’s not to say that they won’t be top notch flicks, but my immediate reaction to the announcement was that they didn’t wind up with any of the potential titles that could be real awards season players. I definitely could be wrong, but that’s what popped into my head first. Still, there’s a chance for a few of the movies to excel enough to warrant strong consideration, and I’ll tackle them in this article below, but first let’s talk about some of the movies that won’t be debuting at Cannes…
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I said it on the podcast when the topic came up, and I’ll say it again here. Anyone who thinks that David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron, or Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are seriously eager to direct ‘Catching Fire’ are being overly optimistic. With the exception of Cuaron’s well regarded installment of the Harry Potter franchise, they aren’t good fits for the type of production that this sequel is shaping up to be. I’ve mentioned a few names I’d like to see Lionsgate go after, and while they haven’t listened to me (at least not yet, anyway), a rumor over at The Playlist suggests that a few more realistic names are in play. The directors now being added to the wish-list are Francis Lawrence and most interestingly Bennett Miller. After the jump, I’ll get into whether or not they’re actually good choices, but it’s clear that the production is aiming slightly lower now, especially with a tough shoot/release schedule planned for the flick…
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If there’s apparently a rather surefire way to be a box office failure these days, it’s to involve the red planet of Mars. We all know how much coverage the underwhelming box office (to date) is for Disney’s expensive would be tent-pole ‘John Carter’ (a film I happened to enjoy, as you can see in my early review here). As disappointing as the take so far must be for the mouse ($55 million domestically as of me starting this article, though the foreign numbers are better…hang tight, I’ll cover all of this in a bit), it was even worse last year for their motion capture flick ‘Mars Needs Moms’, which GLOBALLY was only able to manage $38 million in box office from a budget of $150 million. I’m not actually writing about mars related box office failures (though ‘Red Planet’ was a pretty big bomb and the international markets saved ‘Mission to Mars’, but I digress) or the woes of Disney (which could actually lose $200 million in the end over ‘John Carter’), but actually about how sometimes we get box office failures that don’t deserve their fate. Yes, sometimes bad movies fail at the box office (I’m looking at you ‘The Adventures of Pluto Nash’, ‘Battlefield Earth’, and others), but more often good ones do. I decided to sift through the best of the lot that were labeled “bombs” and to find which financial failures were the greatest creative successes. This is obviously on a sliding scale, so don’t expect masterpieces all around, but here are 10 good to great films that didn’t make their budgets back and lost the studios quite a bit of money. Some were victims of their time, some of their bloated budgets, but all are movies that deserved bigger audiences (or better handling), so in a way, they’re all cautionary tales. Let’s dive right in though and see what the best bombs of all time are!
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Every year, even though the vast majority of movie releases are all but instantly forgettable, we have some films come out that you just know will be still remembered fondly 25 years later. 2011 was no exception. It’s a bit early to know which will survive the test of time, but I’m willing to bet that a number of them will. As much as anything, it’s a situation where you have to imagine what films will be talked about in film school, among scholars, or even just over some dinner among family and/or friends. For example, last year I look at The Social Network and Inception as two films that definitely will be remembered, and they’re hardly the only ons from 2010. For 2011, there’s a half dozen that spring to mind for me, and not all of them are films I particularly love. For example, I love Red State, and while I think it will forever remain a notable entry into Kevin Smith’s oeuvre, for the general film community it’s of little note. There are also films like Bellflower and Margin Call that announced interesting new filmmakers, but likely will be looked back on to a lesser degree than the films to come. I have a half dozen contenders for the “test of time” throne from 2011. Let’s get started, shall we?
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My recent article that went up at the site a few weeks ago on the next generation of A-list actors and actresses got me thinking…what about the directing side of things? That, and it was requested by you the reader, so there’s that too. Anyway, on to this subject…the future directing stars of the industry. Recently people like Ben Affleck have joined the A-list (as a director, he’s already been an acting A-lister), but who might be next? I wanted to exclude actors turned directors, since they do start off with a bit of a built in advantage, so no disrespect to them, but they won’t be on here, save for ones who are only incidentally actors. Who is on the list, though? Well, this time around I upped it to 20 selections, as per a request by a reader. I still had to leave off plenty of worthy contenders, such as Noah Baumbach, Mike Binder (though he sometimes acts in his movies, so he’d be excluded anyway), John Carney, Will Gluck, Sam Levinson, Gavin O’Connor, and James Wan. The following filmmakers did make the cut, however, so let’s take a look (in alphabetical order) at my picks!
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A lot has been written in the past few years about how the focus of tent pole films has moved from using big movie stars to utilizing well known and established brands. The sequel or remake has become the new movie star. That being said, A-list actors and actresses still exist, and though they may not have the sway that they once did, they certainly are still out there. This got me wondering what the next generation of A-listers might look like. I came up with a list of 10 actors and 10 actresses that I think will wind up being big stars in the next few years or so. One or two are on the younger side, but many are right there on the cusp of A-list status. I’ll try to even explain what works might be the ones to vault them to the list. It’ll be interesting to look back on this in a decade and see if there’s any correlation whatsoever. Will there be? I definitely think so, but show business is a funny thing. I certainly want to know what you all think at the end, but we’ll get to that soon enough. For now, let’s get on with my picks, ranked in a simple alphabetical order. Here we go.
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Obviously, it’s no secret that there’s been a lot of news in the past few days about the Oscar ceremony, when normally we’re just talking about the Oscar race. Brett Ratner put his foot in his mouth (real shocking) and no longer is co-producing the show, replaced by Brian Grazer. This led to Eddie Murphy leaving as host, throwing the show into more flux. Of course, many people have called for Billy Crystal to return as host, and he’s definitely a good pick, but it got me thinking about alternative choices who would be just as good as Billy. Here are 10 other people who would get my vote for hosting duties if I had a say in the matter:
1. Tom Hanks: One of the most likable people in Hollywood, he would certainly have the audience feeling warm and fuzzy inside, but when it comes to some of the parts of hosting that favor a more stand-up approach, how will he fare? Just remember ‘Punchline’…but at the same token, he burst on the scene as a great comedic actor, so he’d be at the top of my list. Plus, he’s worked with Grazer on some of Ron Howard’s films, so the connection is already there.
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I know that a lot of people are already chalking up 2011 as a “down” year in film, and by extension…the forthcoming slate of Oscar nominees. I’m here to say that I don’t buy it at all, and that I actually see the next few months as one of the best and most exciting precursor seasons in recent memory. I’m sure you all think I’m nuts and want to know how I’m faring with the head injury I must have suffered in order to be thinking these things. What I say to you is this…don’t we all complain that the Oscar race is always over too soon each year? Well, then…this is your year. I stand here stating that it’s an excellent thing that we don’t yet know what will win Best Picture, or even what the main competition will look like. Furthermore, not a single category is locked up yet, even the techs. Every statue is in play. We should be celebrating this, since so often we complain that the race has no suspense, even in a year like last year where most were thrilled that ‘The Social Network’ was headed toward some major wins. Then, when ‘The King’s Speech’ snuck up and changed the game, plenty of people were upset about that. It’s hard to please us, folks…and what better way to start than to have some genuine Oscar suspense? I can’t remember a year where we were going into October without at least one trophy in the bag for an actor or a writer. This is the year that so many people have been clamoring for, and with the potential for anywhere from 5 to 10 nominees for Best Picture, the excitement can last until nomination morning!
Read more on Best Oscar Season in a Long Time?…