If you missed the first trailer for Joe Wright’s latest, you can find that here; the new one-sheet you can find below. It properly conveys what the film is pushing, with Saoirse Ronan’s piercing blues and an arrow looking right at you. Not sure about the slogan ‘adapt or die,’ but the fact that the Chemical Brothers are scoring it is a real plus. With the inclusion of Daft Punk on Tron: Legacy and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails for The Social Network, we’re seeing a new revolution for music and film. Doubtful we’ll be losing the John Williams’ and Hans Zimmer’s of the world, but it’s certainly something to key an eye on for the future.
True love and the apocalypse come together nicely in another film featuring Ewan McGregor. McGregor lives a tough life, man. First he bagged Mélanie Laurent in Beginners; now it’s Eva Green. Also, he can grow a killer beard.
From the looks of Sense, Green and McGregor find each other right as the world is ending from an, as of yet, unknown predicament. But, if you have Green laying nude beside you in bed, it could be worse.
Ewan McGregor kicked some ass recently in I Love You Phillip Morris; here he plays it straight (in more ways than one). McGregor is Oliver, who must deal with his mother’s death and the revelation that his father (Christopher Plummer) is gay.
This is worth the price for Plummer, who has had a hugely distinguished career, cutting his teeth early with Shakespeare and other theatre. The dude has been Captain Von Trapp, Leo Tolstoy, Van Helsing, Julius Caesar, Aristotle, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Santa Claus over the years. Now the 81-year old digging on bandanas and house music.
And he’s Canadian. Much love.
I think we all agree that Sarah Silverman should be featured more; be it the small or big screen. Here, she’s one of a very talented and funny cast in Barry W. Blaustein’s new film. Peep World tells the story of a very dysfunctional family who get together once a year to celebrate the patriarch, played by Ron Rifkin (L.A. Confidential).
As you’ll see from the first trailer, they spend their quality time by bitching and airing out their laundry at one and other. Along with Silverman, Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson, Stephen Tobolowsky and Ben Schwartz are along for the ride. The film’s name comes from the title of a book written by Schwartz’s character which sends them all in into even more of a tailspin.
This looks pretty good. It will be in theatres March 25, but first accessible on VOD February 9.
Christopher Nolan hating Academy Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning by your friend and mine, Mo’nique. (Speaking of which, there’s not enough names out there with apostrophes in them.) The King’s Speech, thanks to the stammering of Colin Firth’s King George VI, leads the way with twelve nominations including best picture, director, and acting nods for Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
After being completely shut out at the recently completed Golden Globes (pretty much all you need to know about that particular ceremony), Joel and Ethan Coen’s remake of True Grit trailed only Speech with ten nominations, while best picture favourite The Social Network has eight; the same as Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
A few thoughts:
For no good reason in particular, Nolan was snubbed from the best director final five, after suffering a similar fate with The Dark Knight in 2008. Nolan has made nothing but gold since his arrival, so what does he have to show for his efforts? A big, fat middle finger from the Academy. One would hope that this trend doesn’t continue with the completion of his Batman trilogy in two years. This upsets me greatly. The saving grace is that Nolan earned one for screenplay–something, if I had my way, he’d walk away with the award. Also, Hans Zimmer should win original score for the film–but, he won’t.
Happy to see that Winter’s Bone received a lot of love. After being released very early in the year, Debra Granik’s small scale (but grand experience) film scored four nominations for best actress, supporting actor, adapted screenplay and most importantly, picture.
While John Hawkes got an unexpected nod for Winter’s Bone, it seems he knocked out Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominee Andrew Garfield for The Social Network. Personally, I thought Garfield was better in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go. He, along with Carey Mulligan were absolutely flawless in it, yet the film, nor its cast or crew even sniffed any sort of recognition this year.
Alice in Wonderland–which featured a sword fighting Mad Hatter (?)–will somehow be thrice featured in the broadcast, for art direction, costume design and visual effects. Adding to the embarrassment is the inclusion of The Wolfman and Unstoppable. Thank Christ that Twilight wasn’t singled out though. What a goddamn tragedy that would be.
Tough to see Ryan Gosling missing from the best acting category. His Blue Valentine partner-in-crime Michelle Williams made the cut, and they really should be recognized together. The only word to describe their film is heartbreaking. I urge everyone to see it, though I’ll need a break before watching it again. There was some beautifully distressing stuff going on there. Just think about getting kicked repeatedly in the nuts–or kitty if you fancy–and that is infinitely easier than watching some of the scenes in Valentine.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway are hosting the biggest night in film, while insanely rich celebrities will be passing out the golden, bald statues February 27, 2011.
See all the nominees after the break
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)
The Fighter (Paramount)
Inception (Warner Bros.)
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features)
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company)
127 Hours (Fox Searchlight)
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney)
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions)
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in Biutiful
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom
Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney)
Day & Night (Walt Disney)
The Gruffalo (A Magic Light Pictures Production)
Let’s Pollute (A Geefwee Goedoe Production)
The Lost Thing (Nick Batzias for Madmen Entertainment)
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) (A Sacrebleu Production)
Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful from Mexico (Roadside Attractions)
Dogtooth from Greece (Kino International)
In A Better World from Denmark (Sony Pictures Classics)
Incendies from Canada (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) from Algeria (Cohen Media Group
Exit Through the Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency)
Gasland (A Gasland Production)
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics)
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment)
Wasteland (Arthouse Films)
Documentary Short Subject
Killing in the Name (A Moxie Firecrackers Film Production)
Poster Girl (A Portrayal Films Production)
Strangers No More (A Simon and Goodman Picture Company Production)
Sun Come Up (A Sun Come Up Production)
The Warriors of Qiugang (A Thomas Lennon Films Production)
Live Action Short Film
The Confession (National Film and Television School)
The Crush (Network Ireland Television)
God of Love (A Luke Matheny Production)
Na Wewe (Premium Films)
Wish 143 (A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production)
Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for True Grit
David Fincher for The Social Network
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
David O. Russell for The Fighter
Another Year – Mike Leigh
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson; story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson
Inception – Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech – David Seidler
127 Hours – Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
How To Train Your Dragon – John Powell
Inception – Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech – Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours – A.R. Rahman
The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticut Ross
“Coming Home” from Country Strong, Music and Lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled, Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours, Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyrics by Dido and Rollo
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Inception – Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech – Danny Cohen
The Social Network – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit – Roger Deakins
Black Swan – Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter - Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech – Tariq Anwar
127 Hours – Jon Harris
The Social Network – Angus wall and Kirk Baxter
Inception – Richard King
Toy Story 3 – Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy – Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit – Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable – Mark P. Stoeckinger
Inception – Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech – Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt – Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network – Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit – Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
The Wolfman – Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Iron Man 2
Five more posters have shown up for Zack Snyder’s new sensory smorgasbord, Sucker Punch. The marketing minds behind this aren’t stupid, but you don’t need a PhD to know what’s going to be effective. Just put skinny, attractive women in leather outfits, knee-high socks with short skirts, holding guns, and you’ve got yourself a winner.
There’s been some buzz around another live-action TMNT project trying to be made–no word yet on whether noted thespian Corey Feldman is being approached to revive the voice of Donatello. It’s no secret I’ve long been a fan of everything green, pizza loving and laced with karate prowess. Action figures, playing cards, video games; you name it, I owned it.
We’re probably at least a year away from seeing anything on screen. In the meantime, a fan-made short video has been circulating around the web featuring local reporter April O’Neil as she uncovers the makings of a new gang popping up in NYC.
Appropriately entitled ‘Fight the Foot,’ it’s actually quite good for what it is.
A little late on posting the first trailer for Cedar Rapids, from Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl). Some funny material here–mostly from John C. Reilly and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (sheeeee-it). Former lesbian Anne Heche also makes an appearance, as a redhead no less.
Rapids stars Ed Helms (The Hangover) as nerdy insurance agent Tim Lippe who goes to a conference to represent his company. Lippe is a guy who drinks creme sherry and think any hotel with a pool is an exotic locale. He starts hanging out with conference regulars (Reilly, Heche, Whitlock Jr.) who help to break him out of his shell.
You gotta dance with the tiger.
Also see a clip after the break.
There’s a point near the start of every boxing bout, where the two adversaries dance around the ring, feeling one and other out. The quiet before the storm so-to-speak; the moments of anticipation before one (or both) bears the pummeling. These calm instances sum up The Fighter for me. It’s all expectation, and no substance. It tells the story of Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), a welterweight contender from Lowell, Massachusetts whose rises from the slums to the top of his profession. Wahlberg is mostly lifeless here; his greatest battle is the one to successfully come across as a competent actor.
I think the problem comes down to me not caring at all about boxing, or the films that chronicle the sport. I respect the athletic feats these people are able to accomplish, but how cookie-cutter are the layouts for these particular affairs? An impoverished local hero with a chip on his shoulder? Check. Battles adversity, while overcoming self-doubt? Check. Plays the “me versus the world” card? Check. Has a momentary setback? Check. Against all odds, he rises to the top of his sport while redeeming himself in his own eyes and the eyes of others? Check.
The best part people will say is the cast. And yes, some of that is true. Christian Bale is great as always; he even made Terminator Salvation watchable, and it was directed by McG. Like 2004′s The Machinist, Bale goes through a drastic physical change. Although not down to 120 pounds, his dedication and transformation remains potent. Bale plays Dickie Eklund: the older half-brother of “Irish” Micky Ward. A former boxer with promise, Dickie turned to crack which eventually consumed his pockets and drive, derailing his career for good. This may not be the “best” supporting character of 2010, but Bale is due. As we all know, the Academy has a history of rewarding not one, but a sum of roles an actor has portrayed over the years. Bale has conquered indie and mainstream audiences alike; it’s about time he’s seeing some accolades. He’s won most awards he’s been up for this year, including the Golden Globe. I fully expect an Oscar to accompany it on his mantle.
Melissa Leo, who earned acclaim in 2009′s Frozen River, also stars. Despite only being eleven and fourteen older than Wahlberg and Bale, Leo plays their mother Alice Ward. Alice hates most things she comes across: like outsiders, people telling her what to do, etc. But as the mother of nine children with multiple partners, it’s evident her real enemy is birth control. I’ve never seen the real Alice Ward, but Leo’s edition is the most over-the-top performance you will likely witness this year. And I have zero patience to even discuss the seven sisters (save for the haplessly named Phyllis “Beaver” Eklund, played by Kate O’Brien, sister of Conan). I just wish I had some gloves and some talent in the ring to help illustrate my feelings towards these wretched women.
I was happy to see Amy Adams here. After rising to fame playing princesses and lovable ingénues, she completely sells Charlene: a white trash bartender who drank away her education and now gets through each day working, all the while thwarting alcoholics and bad tippers. Micky defends her honour by (what else) beating someone up. Charlene is an imperfect shining light from the same side of the tracks. Micky is lucky to have her; as The Fighter is lucky to have Adams.
As the title suggests, the most compelling scenes involving Micky are in the ring where director David O. Russell (Three Kings) deployed the same cameras and commentary that HBO utilized when the actual fights took place. There is a realistic look to these intimate moments; a fact only cemented by the actual punches thrown and landed by the combatants during filming. Sadly, the grittiness that builds up here quickly erodes when the action leaves the squared circle; or when Bale and Adams are nowhere to be seen.
The Fighter was a labour of love for Wahlberg. He spent six years bringing it to life, stating his intent was do Ward’s story “justice.” And I think he succeeds; it’s just not that compelling of a tale. Wahlberg beefs up to the appropriate levels and looks the part. He has a very believable left jab, but he’s always had muscles; if only he had the acting chops to complement them. The Fighter found itself on many pundits top films list; it is not on mine. Not even close. Producers egregiously assume that finding a celebrated director, while matching him with talented performers will automatically garner adulation. Personally, I would have rather watched two hours of Dickie as he circumvents his issues with substance abuse. That storyline actually felt real, while everything else quickly turned into inconsequential fodder. The Fighter periodically hits us with a few effective body blows, but lacks the finishing right hook to completely floor.
Winning the award for “greatest news of the day,” it has been learned that Luke Perry (the one and only Dylan McKay) was the one who originally optioned Aron Ralston’s true story of being trapped underneath a wedged boulder for over five days.
Ralston’s role eventually went to James Franco in a sure-to-be Oscar nominated role; Perry wanted the Notorious B.A.G. himself, Brian Austin Green to play the imprisoned hiker. Imagine the possibilities! Shannon Doherty as Ralston’s sister Sonja; Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling as Megan and Kristi, the two hikers he befriends. Perhaps an aged Jason Priestly as Ralston’s father, and a not-so-aged Gabrielle Carteris as Mrs. Ralston. Then we just need to find Steve Sanders a cameo.
Sadly, Perry was turned down and in a decision that probably ended better commercially and financially, but less successful comically, Danny Boyle took the reins.