Tag Archives: james

Has The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Changed In The Years Since #OscarsSoWhite

2018 oscars

The nominations for the 90th Annual Academy Awards were released last week and met with mixed reactions. Some were ecstatic, others were disappointed, but how many were surprised? The Academy has been attempting to present itself in a new light in the years since a slew of all-white nominees was presented in the Best Actor category at the 2015 ceremony. Despite the #OscarsSoWhite movement that followed, the same thing happened the next year, sending organizers into a furor that found them completely revamping the membership list in the hopes of getting more diversified nominations. Although the 89th ceremony saw some changes in terms of the voting body, it seemed more like a desperate attempt to show change rather than a legitimate attempt to actually change. Now, in the age of #MeToo, this year’s nominees also fell shy of expectations. Continue reading

Golden Globes Celebrate #MeToo Movement and 2017’s Achievements in Film

golden globes 2018

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards didn’t see any misread Best Picture announcements. Instead, host Seth Meyers was booed for his Harvey Weinstein jokes and Oprah Winfrey gave a stirring speech while wearing black in order to support the #MeToo Movement that has shaken Hollywood, hopefully for the better. Celebrities male and female alike took to the red carpet in (mostly) all black attire to show support and solidarity in the cleansing of the industry after moguls like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Jeffrey Tambor were accused of sexual misconduct by a multitude of women. The purging of Hollywood, however, did not take the spotlight away from the achievements we saw in film in 2017. Continue reading

New World War II Drama ‘Darkest Hour’ Brings Churchill’s Perseverance and Leadership To Modern Audiences

Despite the new World War II drama Darkest Hour now playing in theaters nationwide, “Who was Winston Churchill?” still sounds like a question you’re likely to find on one of those ‘the dumbing down of America has happened’ videos. While Churchill may not have been American, himself, his influence and importance in the events of the mid-20th Century cannot be overstated. Winston Churchill was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in 1940, a position he held throughout the remainder of World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Before his career in politics he had worked as a writer and served as a member of the British Army. His election in 1940 came at a time when Britain’s, and indeed the future of the whole of Western Europe was uncertain. Hitler had been elected Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and, by the time of Churchill’s election, was already marching across France, pushing British forces to the shores of the English Channel, where the famous evacuation at Dunkirk took place (if you haven’t seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, I highly recommend it!).

With the United States still hesitant to enter the war effort in either Europe or the Pacific, the newly appointed Prime Minister was faced with the choice of either regrouping and rallying national support to continue the war effort against Nazi Germany, or agreeing to sign a peace accord with Hitler and the Axis Powers. As the United Kingdom stood at the brink of invasion, it was up to Churchill to persuade Parliament, King George VI, and the people of Britain that the war could be won and that it was worth fighting, an extremely difficult prospect considering the ever-growing influence of Nazi Germany and the reluctance of the United States to enter the war. Continue reading

Mixed Reviews For ‘The Disaster Artist’ As Film Receives Theatrical Expansion

As Variety’s Peter Debruge hails The Disaster Artist as James Franco achieving “what could become his most iconic role,” others like The New Yorker’s Richard Brody have claimed it’s a good movie, but Franco missed the mark; The Room is a better movie. Truth be told, reviews are always mixed for any movie, but when you compare a new theatrical film to what’s become known as the worst movie ever made, that’s saying something. The Disaster Artist, which is directed by, and stars James Franco, along with his brother Dave and long time collaborator Seth Rogan, follows the making of The Room, known to many as the worst movie ever made. The Room was a production-disaster-turned-cult-classic that was the lifeblood of two aspiring filmmakers, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. The two met and, realizing their dreams of filmmaking, decided to go to Hollywood to make their masterpiece. A $6 billion bill, countless horrendous reviews, and an opening weekend of only 200 ticket sales, however, seemed to literally spell disaster for the young filmmakers. But sometime after the initial release, something unexpected began to happen. Continue reading

Harry Dean Stanton Gives His Last Great Performance In New Drama ‘Lucky’

Harry Dean Stanton, the legendary character-actor who’s appeared in countless Hollywood productions, passed away on September 15th at the age of 91. Stanton got his start taking small roles in television productions like Bonanza, Rawhide, The Fugitive, and Gunsmoke in the 1950s and ’60s. He has since appeared in more than 100 films, including Cool Hand Luke, Kelly’s Heros, The Godfather Part II, Alien, Escape From New York, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Green Mile. Now fans will have one more chance to see him in his first (and last) leading role since 1984’s Paris, Texas in what should prove to be a touching tribute.

Lucky is a drama from actor-turned-director John Carrol Lynch (Gran Torino, The Founder) that follows Lucky, a chain-smoking atheist and World War II veteran who must come to grips with his own mortality. The script comes from screenwriters Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja, and reunites Stanton with Twin Peaks creator David Lynch. Also appearing in the film are actors Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun, Steel Magnolias), James Darren (Gidget, The Guns of Navarone), and Yvonne Huff. Check your local listings for showings in your area, and if you’re not in the mood for killer clowns or Tom Cruise, make this one your go-to for the weekend. And of course, rest in peace Mr. Stanton!

New Queen Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Filling Out Cast For December ’18 Release

For some time now, there has been talk of an upcoming biographical drama surrounding the legendary rock band Queen, though no such film has shown up anywhere on the Hollywood film circuit. Now, however, it looks like fans will finally be able to enjoy a new biopic surrounding the events leading up to and including the band’s legendary rebirth at the Live Aid Festival in 1985. The performance was not expected to be anything special: Queen had lost a good deal of momentum by the early 1980s, and the band was just another group of performers scheduled alongside acts like Elton John, The Who, Dire Straights, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. But when Queen finally took the stage in-between U2 and David Bowie, the crowd had no idea they were about to witness rock-history in the making.

Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who later died of complications with AIDS, took command of the stage and delivered an awe-inspiring set that even his band mates had never imagined. Through 25 minutes, Mercury jumped from the piano, to the guitar, to front stage with his sawed-off mic-stand, leading the band through a suite of their musical catalogue that included older classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” to recent singles like “Hammer to Fall”. It was all backing members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor could do to try and keep up with Mercury, whose passionate and energetic performance ignited the crowd and which is remembered as the definitive highlight of the Live Aid festival. Continue reading

Third Actor To Portray James Bond, Roger Moore, Passes Away at 89

moore

Earlier this week, Sir Roger Moore, the third actor to portray Ian Fleming’s British Secret Service Agent, James Bond, passed away at the age of 89. Moore died after a brief battle with cancer at his home in Switzerland, according to his family members. The actor first achieved fame with lead television roles in series like Maverick and The Saint in the 1950s and 60s. His first outing as James Bond came with 1973’s Live and Let Die, the second Bond novel by author Ian Fleming. Moore’s appointment to the role came after Sean Connery returned for one additional film (Diamonds Are Forever) following actor George Lazenby’s dismissal from the the part. He would then go on to star as Bond in an additional six films throughout the remainder of the 1970s and up until 1985’s A View To A Kill. Continue reading

Tribeca Film Festival Closes With ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘The Godfather’ Cast Reunion

reservoir dogs 25th reunion

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will not only be remembered for its impressive array of films, but also for a number of controversial firsts. An airline commercial was pulled from showing, reporters were infuriated to find James Franco and Shai LaBeouf absent from a red carpet premiere, and the new Immersive Storyscapes feature allowed audiences to experience virtual reality in an all new way. As if all that wasn’t enough, the 2017 celebration wrapped with special showings and cast reunions for two of the biggest films in history: Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. Continue reading

2017 Tribeca Film Festival Is Now Underway

masks at festival

The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival is once again underway in New York City. Entries in this year’s festival include films from 28 countries, which are being shown from April 19th to April 30th. The festival has already seen a fair share of controversy this year. Photographers and reporters were incensed to find some lesser known actors walking on the red carpet wearing masks of James Franco, Shia LaBeouf, and Greta Gerwig instead of the actors themselves for the premiere of the film Flames. In addition, a commercial for United Airlines, which was originally scheduled to appear at the festival, was pulled from the line up after the controversy surrounding Dr. David Dao being violently dragged off one of their flights. Despite a fair share of controversy, which has always been typical of the Hollywood scene, there have been some impressive displays at this year’s festivities. Continue reading

Look For New George Lazenby Documentary ‘Becoming Bond’ On Hulu This May

A new documentary centered around the youngest actor to portray British agent James Bond 007 (and for only one film) is coming to Hulu this May 20th. George Lazenby, a car salesman from Australia, famously conned his way into the role by going to meet with producer Albert R. Broccoli, securing an audition by claiming he had acting experience in his native Australia, which wasn’t true. He was, however, able to pull off an audition that was good enough to convince fellow producer Harry Saltzman of his worthiness for the part, and thus On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) became the first Bond film without original actor Sean Connery appearing in the title role. Although audiences and critics had mixed reviews upon its release, OHMSS has, over the years, became one of the more favored entries in the Bond franchise. Incidentally, Lazenby is also the only actor to have received major recognition for his portrayal of the character, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 1970 for Most Promising Newcomer/Best New Star. Continue reading