Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’
It’s that time of year again – time to predict who will win the ultimate Hollywood prize at the grandest award show in the world. The 85th Academy Awards are going to be a place where young careers get made, long careers get rewarded, and viewers get incensed that their favorites didn’t win. We’ll get ready to hear, “I’ve never even heard of that movie,” “How could she win, she didn’t even deserve to be nominated,” and of course the old favorite, “Of course that would win. The Academy doesn’t know what people actually like.”
We must keep in mind two very important things: 1) “The Academy” is not some shadowy panel of a dozen or so anonymous judges, but hundreds of well-known industry participants. 2) The winners are not meant to represent what American culutre’s favorites are. If only box office favorites were ever nominated, we’d have The Avengers going up against The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games – none of which objectively deserve to be called Best Picture.
Figuring out who will win for which category takes a special sense of reasoning. So special, in fact, that all three of our writers – Dan Supanik, Marisa Carpico, and Cliff Bugle – claim to be the only one to have that sense. And yet, they disagree about who will in the six most important categories. Read on to see what the chances are of your favorites winning, and which of them will be left sitting in their seats giving disappointed claps of congratulations.
Director: Adam Shankman
Length: 2h 3m
Synopsis: The year is 1987. Sherrie (Hough) is just a small-town girl moving to Hollywood to try and make it on her own as a singer. Right off the bus she stumbles upon The Bourbon, a renowned rock ‘n roll joint run by enthusiasts Dennis (Baldwin) and Lonny (Brand) who recently secured one final gig by rock legend Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) in an effort to save the place from bankruptcy. With not but $17 to her name Sherrie begs for a job as a waitress, and thanks to the fellow begging of its bartender Drew (Boneta) she’s hired on the spot. Naturally, a romance blooms. Misfortune begins to mount, though, as activist Patricia Whitmore (Zeta-Jones) successfully protests the moral filth of The Bourbon and aims to have it shut down. In addition to this, Jaxx’s manager Paul (Giamatti) has plans to cheat the establishment, and a Rolling Stone reporter (Akerman) has written an unfavorable article about Jaxx’s fading career. All of this included with Jaxx’s senseless temperament and unreliability puts The Bourbon behind the eight ball. Will the rock ‘n roll landmark’s luck turn around in time?
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Lem Dobbs
Length: 1h 33m
Synopsis: In a world where you live only for as long as you can defend yourself against stiff physical assaults and the occasional poor judgment of character, there exists Mallory (Carano). A freelancing black ops agent of sorts, her dedication, awareness, savvy, and tenacity have made her one of the most sought after of her kind. After a rescue mission that didn’t go as smoothly as it should have, she begins to suspect that one of her more frequent employers, known only as Kenneth (McGregor), has been planning to set her up for failure. As a test, Mallory takes up his newest assignment where she’ll be working with another agent named Paul (Fassbender), who it turns out is in fact part of a double-cross. Surviving the betrayal placed a giant target on her back, and now she’s on the run looking to clear her name and get revenge on those responsible.
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Length: 1h 40m
Synopsis: Gil (Wilson) and his fiancé Inez (McAdams) are vacationing in Paris, France, soaking up the atmosphere and taking in all of the beautiful art that surrounds them. Gil is a Hollywood screenwriter trying to take another crack at writing novels, and his latest work about relishing the past has gotten some much-needed inspiration from the city of love. While Inez spends her time enjoying luxurious spa days and get-togethers with friends Gil wishes to experience all of the charm the city has to offer, and he finds all he can handle when he stumbles upon a way to travel back in time to the 1920s. Every night at midnight he visits iconic artists like F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), and Salvador Dali (Brody), chatting away with them about love, life, and women. And speaking of women, one night Gil can’t help but be enchanted by an art aficionada named Adrianna (Cotillard), who is equally enchanted by him. The stress of the present and magic of the past combine to create an awkward but exciting situation for Gil, one which he will find his way out of only if he follows his heart.
Please stop pushing 3D.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has underachieved in terms of earning first weekend grosses for 3D showings, with more audiences opting for 2D prints. Now, with $90.1 million earned its first weekend in just the U.S., and over $400 million to be earned worldwide by the end of its first full week, the film can hardly be considered unsuccessful. However, numbers show that American audiences’ interest in 3D could be waning. What everyone is trying to figure out is whether fewer 3D tickets sold means audiences are no longer seeing the value in 3D technology or they are becoming less inclined to fork over the extra cash for a 3D ticket.
Guess what Hollywood – if Americans are indeed sick of 3D it’s because of both reasons.
The list of recent movies released in 3D where the extra dimension actually added to the viewing experience is extremely short, including only Avatar, Tron: Legacy, How to Train Your Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, and Monster House. Notice how four of those six are 100% animated, and the two “live action” films are ones which were greatly reliant on digital effects to the point where one could justifiably consider them mostly animated as well. This is not a coincidence, and such a pattern does not help the argument that 3D is the future of the medium. Personally, I won’t give that claim any consideration until I see a truly live action film wow me like the six just mentioned.
To Those with the Power,
Here is an idea that I believe is worth some serious consideration, even though my thoughts on this belief are not beyond recognizing that it is hardly realistic – at the moment. Lack of plausibility aside, here it is:
There should be a feature-length Doctor Who movie.
For those who are not familiar with Doctor Who, it is a British sci-fi television series that dates back to the 1960s where a humanoid alien – known only as The Doctor – travels through space and time with a companion (who is replaced almost every season), battling against evil for the preservation of life, life-affirming matters (such as cultures), and even existence itself.
Edit: I should probably recognize that there are in fact technically three Doctor Who feature films, made in 1965, 1966, and 1996, however the first two have no connection to the series and have rather pathetic production values (aside from Peter Cushing’s acting), and the last was made seven years after the original series ended and had a story that was not nearly as epic as it maybe should have been.
The series got a reboot, or rather a reinvigoration, back in 2005 after a 15 year hiatus. Creators decided to invest more time and money into it, relying heavily on writer Russell T. Davies of Queer as Folk fame to reimagine Doctor Who in order to make him more appealing to modern day audiences. The new series is now in the middle of its sixth season (and its third Doctor), the first to be broadcasted on BBC America at the same time as BBC. A genuine sensation in Britain since David Tennant took the role of The Doctor in season two, the series has gained even more traction since Matt Smith assumed the part for seasons five and six. Here lies what little optimism I have for realizing the notion above.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Length: 1h 55m
Synopsis: King Odin (Hopkins) of Asgard was looking to pass down the crown to his son Thor (Hemsworth), but before that would happen the sophomoric son went on a foolish and dangerous errand that could potentially rekindle a war between Asgard and their olden enemies the Frost Giants. For such recklessness Thor is exiled to Earth where he shall be powerless until he proves himself worthy to return. While gone, Odin’s adopted son Loki (Hiddleston) carries out plans to usurp the throne and compromise Asgard for the Frost Giants. With the help of several humans trying to understand Thor’s plight, the most empathetic of which is an astrophysicist named Jane (Portman), the God of Thunder must mature in time to save his kingdom.
Director: David Fincher
Screenwriters: Aaron Sorkin (script), Ben Mezrich (book – “The Accidental Billionaires”)
Synopsis: Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg), a sophomore at Harvard in 2003, found himself envious of the social elite and decided to startup a website called TheFacebook.com with his friend Eduardo (Garfield) that would allow all of his fellow students to make personal profiles and socialize with each other like they never could before. Snags occur early and often during the early stages of the site’s development, but they are nothing compared to the legal and emotional troubles to follow. Three other students claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea for the website, but not even that is as disruptive as the tension that mounts between Mark and Eduardo when Napster founder Sean Parker (Timberlake) becomes involved and tries to steer the ship. Zuckerberg is forced to make some tough decisions, and unfortunately not many people are going to like them. Read the rest of this entry »
Back at the beginning of Summer we gave a preview of three films that were to come out that have something in common. What these films share is a focus on a tight-knit group of ex-military soldiers who work towards a shared goal of some kind. With The Losers it was about getting revenge, with The A-Team it was about living up to one’s duties as a patriot, and with The Expendables it was about serving the human condition. As you may have noticed, the motivations of the groups got progressively nobler, from serving selfish incentives to fulfilling an intangible obligation to heroic morals; namely the moral that the strong have to protect the weak. The three movies, and by extension the three groups in these movies, may share a similar basic premise, and may interact within their respective contexts in a similar way, but their differing motivations distinguish them from each other more so than we may have anticipated. Likewise, they also shared more in common than we previously thought. What exactly, though, can we learn from comparing them further?
In order to play catch-up with the latest news that has happened over the past few days, here are some of the more notable headlines aside from Despicable Me‘s opening weekend box-office numbers (which reportedly exceeded $60 million).
The longstanding Hollywood studios is reportedly almost $4 billion in debt. More than 100 lenders who will assume control of the company soon (due to this debt) are in the process of phasing in new management, but in the meantime the company still owes the lenders a $250 million payment with a $200 million interest tag, which must be paid by July 15th. However, MGM will have more time to come up with these funds if the lenders grant the company a sixth extension, which they have until July 13th to do.
Disney has made an agreement (but not an official deal) with a group headed by construction executive Ronald Tutor and joined by Colony Capital that will sell the latter Miramax studios, along with its 611 film library, for $650 million. Only $300 million is available in equity to Disney at the moment with more to be raised in the near future, and so a $200 million debt is to be expected for Tudor and Colony Capitol if the deal goes through. Disney appears to have confidence that the buyers will be able to raise the money.
The Weinstein Co. still claims to have interest in buying Miramax, but their 2005 exit agreement happened because they felt Disney’s asking price of $650 million was too high. If the Tudor/Capitol talks fall through, Weinstein will reportedly consider making another bid. If the current deal does become official, it will raise questions about the rights to certain films that Weinstein still owns due to their exit agreement. Miramax will not be able to make sequels or remakes for any films Weinstein owns without their approval.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors has released new rules about which animated films can be nominated for the Best Animated Feature category. The original cutoff for animated shorts was a 40 minute maximum, and animated features had to be at least 70 minutes. The gap has been corrected to include animated films over 40 mins in the feature-length category.
Also, the board has decreed that motion-capture animation does not qualify as true animation, which is the traditional “frame-by-frame technique”. So, mo-cap animated films will not be eligible for Best Animated Short or Feature Oscar categories. The new rule regarding animated films is as follows: “An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75% of the picture’s running time.”