Tag Archives: oscar

2017 Oscar Nominees Announced – ‘La La Land’ Ties All-Time Record

2017_oscars

Last year’s Annual Academy Awards ceremony was less than glamorous. In fact, it was downright uncomfortable. You might remember Chris Rock being asked to host the #OscarsSoWhite last January, and although he made some good points and was able to put a good spin on it, the show was ultimately kind of a bust. The final announcement of Leonardo DiCaprio winning the Best Actor Oscar was just one more punch to the face of film-lovers before the ceremony was ended. Don’t get me wrong, Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely worthy of an Oscar, but like Denzel Washington and Al Pacino before him, he was given the award for the wrong role, and at a point way too far into his career. But hey, that’s Hollywood for you. Continue reading

October’s Long History of Historical Film Releases

Happy Halloween! October is traditionally known for the fall season and for hosting Halloween on the last day of the month. Likewise film distributors tend to look at October as a good time to release horror and slasher films for Halloween on fight-seeking audiences across the country, and around the world. October, however, has a long history of major motion picture releases that is not strictly limited to the horror genre. Read on to see our list of impressive October releases, and enjoy your Halloween Weekend! Continue reading

This Week in Film History….

serpico

Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.

Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander DumasThe Three Musketeers.

Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading

Independent Film Highlights…

This week will see a number of indie projects open in select theaters across the country. The 9th Life of Louis Drax is a mystery thriller from horror director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) surrounding a psychologist working with a boy young boy who suffers after a near-fatal fall. The film was penned by actor Max Minghella (The Social Network, The Ides of March), whose late father Anthony was an Oscar-winning screenwriter responsible for such gems as The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Jamie Dornan (Marie Antionette, Fifty Shades of Grey), Aiden Longworth (Cut Bank, Hector and the Search for Happiness), Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man, Enemy), and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings) star in the film, which is based on a novel by Liz Jensen. Continue reading

Iconic Actor Gene Wilder Has Passed Away at the Age of 83

wilder

Legendary comedic actor Gene Wilder, best known for his roles in films like Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed away Monday after a struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. The actor was twice nominated for an Academy Award, one for his role in The Producers and the other as co-writer with Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein. Wilder first gained attention in a production of Off Broadway’s Roots in 1961. He then continued working in television and on Broadway for a number of years, where he first caught the eye of filmmaker Mel Brooks. The actor starred in a production of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967 before teaming up with Brooks for his breakout role in The Producers, which earned him his first nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1962 and director Robert Mulligan‘s big screen adaptation of author Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird. The story of Mockingbird goes even further back to the Depression-era South, and finds white attorney Atticus Finch defending a black man accused of beating a white woman. Atticus Finch has become a name synonymous with racial justice in twentieth-century America. The book was published in 1960 and became an instant best-seller, earning author Lee a Pulitzer Prize. It is regularly read among high school literature classes and has become one of the most famous and successful novels ever written. After publishing Mockingbird, Lee never wrote another book. She did assist author Truman Capote with research for his famous novel In Cold Blood, and the character of Dill is said to be based on Capote, who was a childhood friend of the authors. Lee’s estate also published the original manuscript for Mockingbird titled Go Set a Watchman earlier this year, but the release remains somewhat controversial as Lee’s health was deteriorating and questions arose regarding whether it was her idea to publish the novel or not. Continue reading

New Sequel ‘Jason Bourne’ Opening In Theaters This Weekend

After nine years away, Jason Bourne is returning to the big screen in the fifth installment in the Bourne series. The new film is simply titled Jason Bourne and reunites original lead Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) with Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips). Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, Silver Linings Playbook) is also rejoining the cast as CIA operative Nicky Parsons. She and Damon will be joined on screen by an all-star cast, including Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) and Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, No Country For Old Men). Actors Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Nightcrawler), Ato Essandoh (Blood Diamond, Django Unchained), and Scott Sheperd (Side Effects, Bridge of Spies) are also starring in the new adventure that seeks to uncover the true history behind Bourne’s (aka David Webb) mysterious past. Continue reading

Memorable Movie Moments…

This week’s memorable movie moment takes us back to the first sequel to Jurassic Park, The Lost World (1997). Also based on the preceding novel by Michael Crichton, the film is the only Jurassic Park sequel to be directed by Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Bridge of Spies), although he has served as executive producer on JP3 (2001) and Jurassic World (2015). In fact The Lost World is the only sequel that Spielberg has opted to direct, outside of the Indiana Jones series. It was also his first time back to film after he took a leave of absence when Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were completed and became box office hits both in the same year. Author Michael Crichton had titled the book after the famous novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which also features a mysterious island with dinosaurs and other strange phenomena.

The Lost World brought back original actor Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Dr. Ian Malcolm, who is joined by an all new cast of characters, including Oscar-winner Julianne Moore (Hannibal, Crazy Stupid Love), Pete Postlethwaite (Inception, The Town), Vince Vaughn (Old School, Wedding Crashers), Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket, Moneyball), Peter Stormare (Armageddon, Minority Report), Vanessa Lee Chester (A Little Princess, Harriet the Spy), and acclaimed British actor Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape, Elizabeth). Continue reading

Movie News/Independent Highlight

This week will see a number of indie projects open on select screens across the country. We mentioned the Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsmen) drama Equals opening this Friday, about a couple who falls in love as the result of a disease in a futuristic utopia that is devoid of feeling and emotion, and the tension it causes between them and their society. Co-starring with Stewart is Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Apocalypse), who are led by director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Breathe In).

Also opening on the indie circuit this week is a new animated movie called Phantom Boy, which takes place in the 1940s-50s and follows a young boy with superpowers who helps a wheelchair-bound policeman in his efforts to take down a notorious mob boss. The film comes from Oscar-nominated filmmakers Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol (A Cat in Paris) and stars French actors Edouard Baer (Chicken with Plums), Jean-Pierre Marielle (Coup de torchon, The DaVinci Code), and Audrey Tautou (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie).

Finally on the indie film circuit for this week is a new comedy called Undrafted Continue reading