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This week Neil Calloway argues that big name film stars alone are no longer a guarantee of box office return…
At first glance, it might seem unusual that such big names would appear in a list of the least profitable films of the year. Really looking at it though, and looking at their respective filmographies, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Bill Murray has the dubious honour of not only starring in Rock The Kasbah, the film that appears at the top (or bottom depending on your point of view) but also appearing in Cameron Crowe’s much derided Aloha, which appears at number 9 in the list. With a budget of $15 million, a box office of »
- Neil Calloway
With the career-threatening whiff of hammy howlers such as The Lone Ranger and Mortdecai still lingering in the nostrils, it seems damning with faint praise to say that this true-crime thriller, co-written by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, is Johnny Depp’s best film in years. Yet while director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) coaxes an all-but-unrecognisable performance from Depp as Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, it isn’t quite enough to lift the drama out of the formulaic doldrums. Lacking the deft interpersonal intrigues of Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco, this settles instead for broad, sub-Scorsesean strokes, right down to a too-close-for-comfort riff on Joe Pesci’s terrifying “Funny how?” routine from Goodfellas.
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- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Cumberbatch stopped by the show along with “Black Mass” co-star Johnny Depp on Friday, and Norton seized the opportunity to remind Cumberbatch of the Tumblr dedicated to comparing his facial expressions to those made by otters.
“His fans decided that he looked very [much] like an otter,” Norton says.
“I’m sorry?” Depp says.
Cumberbatch goes on to mimic the otter photos Norton presents to him, including “angry otter” and “‘Why I oughta’ otter,” among many others.
“Is this a casting for my next role as an otter?” Cumberbatch deadpans.
Depp and Norton even get in on the action to help Cumberbatch recreate a photo of three otters cuddling. Depp fully commits, going so far as to kiss Cumberbatch on the cheek. Cumberbatch is put to the real test when »
- Marianne Zumberge
It was the quarter-finals, it was Jukebox Week, and it was exactly as exciting as that sounds. Stuart Heritage was there to liveblog the action as it happened.
And on that anticlimactic barrage of numbers and recaps, it’s time to say goodbye. Mathematically, there aren’t enough contestants left to warrant a double elimination, so only one act will leave tomorrow night. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’ll be here to liveblog it from 8pm. Wait, that’s not good news either, is it? There’s no good news, is there? Everything is coldness and dust. Bye!
Simon Cowell says that Louisa is one of the best acts that X Factor has ever seen. If the Simon Cowell from five years ago said that, it might have meant something. This Simon Cowell, though, only says things to avoid awkward silences. »
- Stuart Heritage
Should anyone doubt Benedict Cumberbatch‘s otter-mimicking skills, look no further than this video. “Sherlock” star Cumberbatch appeared on “The Graham Norton Show” on Friday with his “Black Mass” costar Johnny Depp to promote the gangster drama in the U.K., and to confirm the Internet’s long-standing belief that he resembles an otter. Host Norton dredged up the Cumberbatch-as-otter meme during the pair’s appearance on the show, lamenting the recent lack of side-by-side photographic comparisons on the web recently. So he offered the actor an opportunity to replenish the stock, presenting images of otters for Cumberbatch to replicate. »
- Tim Kenneally
Johnny Depp got emotional when talking about daughter Lily-Rose Depp's kidney-failure hospitalization during a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show. Johnny revealed that "the darkest period" of his life was in 2007 when his daughter "was ill in Great Ormond Street" Hospital. He delved into how he'd frequently visit sick children dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow and how his experience with these visits changed after Lily-Rose's hospital stint. Lily-Rose suffered from kidney failure at age 7 after being exposed to E. coli. In 2008, Johnny donated $2 million to Great Ormond Street Hospital for saving his daughter's life. See what Johnny had to say in the clip, above, and then check out even more sweet, eye-opening comments Johnny made about his daughter. »
- Monica Sisavat
Well played, Benedict Cumberbatch. The 39-year-old Oscar nominee and Sherlock star had years ago sparked a meme on social media, namely on Tumblr, in which he is compared to an otter. So, naturally, when it came time to poke fun at himself on The Graham Norton Show on Friday, he stepped up to the challenge with full enthusiasm. And it gets better: He did it with the help of Johnny Depp. The two star in the crime drama Black Mass, in which Depp plays mobster James "Whitey" Bulger and Cumberbatch plays his brother, Billy. The movie was released in the United States in September and in the United Kingdom earlier this week. "Are you aware of this, Johnny Depp? When »
"I had the advantage of being from that area," says Julianne Nicholson as we chat about her co-starring in the crime drama "Black Mass," which centers on the infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger (played by Johnny Depp). "I grew up there in the '70s and '80s, so I had a familiarity with the place and the mood and the sound of that area in time." Watch our complete video chat with Nicholson below. -Break- Related: Watch dozens of interviews with top awards contenders Nicholson is a native of Medford, Massachusetts, just a few miles outside of Boston, and she admits she had been "wanting to do a Boston story for years. I'd go to movies and see these trailers for 'The Fighter,' 'Conviction,' and I was like, when's my turn? So I was very excited to be included in this, one of the ultimate Boston stories. »
Ahoy folks. I’ve been tackling Academy Award and Golden Globe predictions for a while now, as you all know, but there are of course other awards and/or precursors worth mentioning. Over the rest of the season, I’ll be trying to figure those out too, with today marking the starting point for 2015 as I attempt to decode what the Screen Actors Guild might do (with today also Black Friday, as we all do shopping, voters in various precursors are watching screeners). SAG is one of the most important precursors, mainly because it shows off what the acting branch of the Academy might be thinking. This year, with such a wide open race in almost all categories, you have to imagine that SAG will be one of the biggest guild announcements of the year. Below you’ll see my predictions in all of the SAG categories, but keep in »
- Joey Magidson
Emma Roberts is currently freaking all of us out on Scream Queens, but before she was cast as the downright evil queen bee Chanel Oberlin, Emma was just a little girl from a big Hollywood family, growing up in front of the cameras. Emma is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and the niece of Oscar winner Julia Roberts; she made her big-screen debut playing Johnny Depp's daughter in 2001's Blow and became the star of the Nickelodeon show Unfabulous three years later. Things came full circle for Emma when she starred with her aunt Julia in the 2010 movie Valentine's Day and went on to be featured in two seasons of American Horror Story (she's also slated to pop up in Hotel). As one of creator Ryan Murphy's TV darlings - and with her hilarious current role on Scream Queens - we wouldn't be surprised if the 24-year-old »
- Brittney Stephens
Film Friday is The Hollywood News’ brand new weekly film show features the week’s brand new releases in the UK, as well as looking at the pick of the pics currently showing at your local multiplex.
On this week’s show we take a look at the nwe Steven Spielberg film Bridge Of Spies, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol, Pixar’s latest The Good Dinosaur, Johnny Depp’s powerful performance in Black Mass, and many more.
The series will run every Friday at 12pm midday, UK time, so make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest show delivered to your door each week. Otherwise, simply follow us on Twitter or Facebook where we’ll also be posting links each week.
Film Friday Episode #13 [14 mins, 56 secs]
Film Friday Episode #1: Straight Outta Compton
Film Friday Episode #2: No Escape
Film Friday Episode #3: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials »
- Paul Heath
From Edward Scissorhands to Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter, Depp has always been a chameleon. He’s being Oscar-tipped for his latest transformation: into notorious real-life mobster James “Whitey” Bulger for crime thriller Black Mass. Via a painstaking process involving bald caps, hair implants, facial prosthetics, piercing sky blue contact lenses, tooth-staining and makeup to achieve Bulger’s Irish complexion, Depp menacingly inhabits the role of the sociopathic South Boston gang leader. Bulger declined to meet Depp, who instead studied tapes and was offered advice by Bulger’s longtime lawyer, Jay Carney. However, he credits his convincing Boston accent mainly to hanging out with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
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- Michael Hogan
Since its premiere at Venice earlier this year, Black Mass has been labelled Johnny Depp’s “comeback” picture, although I’m not so sure he ever went quite as far away as everyone thinks. A career as prolific as his is bound to have some dry spells. At any rate, Depp carries this big, brash and horribly watchable true-life crime drama, written by Jez Butterworth and Mark Mallouk and directed by Scott Cooper, and the movie has valid insights into the political roots of gangsterism.
Depp plays south Boston wiseguy James “Whitey” Bulger, whose heyday was the 70s and 80s. With his bald head and weird blue eyes, Depp’s Bulger is a fully paidup sociopath with a groany-deep voice like Ray Liotta in GoodFellas. His brother, Massachusetts State Senator Billy Bulger, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Having launched into a life of filmmaking with a seminal Sundance more than two decades back with Clerks (1994), while Park City is sacred grounds for Smith it’s not going to be an automatic invite for the filmmaker. Having visited the fest for Chasing Amy and more recently Red State (he also has producer creds for fest invited 2006’s small town gay bar and 2012’s Filly Brown). Production began all the way in August of 2014 on Yoga Hosers, so when it became a no-show at Tiff (where Tusk premiered) and where Johnny Depp’s Black Mass was in promo mode, the logical conclusion is this family affair might join Canuck film Turbo Kid in back-to-back Midnight section selections. While Tusk was a hard sell, this “sequel” could be a valuable acquisitions title for the predicted section if Depp’s Guy Lapointe character is afforded more time. Could this be a »
- Eric Lavallee
Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard review Black Mass, a biopic of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the former king of south Boston’s underworld. The film, which stars Johnny Depp as Bulger, tells the story of the gangster’s rise to power, aided by a compromised FBI agent (Joel Edgerton) obsessed with ridding the city of the mafia. Black Mass, which also stars Dakota Johnson and Benedict Cumberbatch, is released in the UK on Friday 27 November
Watch this week’s Guardian film show
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- Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Dan Susman, Henry Barnes and Joan Portillo
Joel Edgerton, who stars as crooked FBI agent John Connolly in Scott Cooper’s biopic of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, explains how a mixture of boyhood loyalty and ambition led the lawman into a dangerous pact with one of Boston’s most notorious gangsters. Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp as Bulger alongside Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons, is released in the UK on Friday 27 November
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- Andrew Pulver and Henry Barnes
Black Mass, 2015.
Directed by Scott Cooper.
The true story of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the notorious gangster who used his status as a FBI informant under John Connolly to take over South Boston.
In Scott Cooper’s Black Mass, there is no protagonist. The film’s rather populated by bad guys, with the good either on the fringes or at the end of the gunsights of one of Boston’s most notorious historical criminal factions: James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang. This cabal of murderers and racketeers ruled Boston for years, thanks to a shady deal Bulger cut with the FBI in the 70s and which he used as a licence to treat his home town like his own lawless kingdom.
The figure who would traditionally confront such a »
- Amie Cranswick
When it comes to winning an Oscar, campaigning often matters, as Eddie Redmayne proved last year, and now it looks like Johnny Depp is having fun on the hustings while chatting up "Black Mass." Through the years, Hollywooders have accepted the superstar being shy – or slyly elusive, take your pick – but now they're amazed at his sudden, welcome accessibility. Recently, Depp participated cheerfully in lots of Q&A screenings, media interviews (video and print), photo shoots and more. At a recent lunch bash at Craig's restaurant in West Hollywood, I got a chance to ask him some cheeky questions. Since this guy loves to portray winking devils, what's behind the jaunty wink of his Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass"? -Break- "Whitey is a guy who always knows he's got the upper hand -- either through intellect or gesture, aggressive body language or violence," he said. "He can always fuck with people, »
Now that we've seen "The Revenant" and all other top Oscar contenders except "Joy" and "The Hateful Eight," Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily) and I are ready to make some bold early picks. Leo DiCaprio seems to be out front for Best Actor, but beware: this derby is crazy and the horses are wild. Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Johnny Depp ("Black Mass"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") and others are still in the chase. Or at least I think so. Sasha feels more strongly about her Leo pick. See Sasha's latest updated predix here. See mine here. See our predictions stacked side by side with 20 other Oscarologists here, then check out the rankings and odds generated with our experts' predix are combined. Below: Listen to Sasha and I schmooze the state of the top races. You can also check out the chat at Gold Derby's channel at Libsyn and at iTunes. Hit the "subscribe" button ther. »
Leonardo DiCaprio — who has been waiting for an Oscar since way back in 1993 when he was first nominated for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" — sure looks like he's giving it everything he's got this time around. His performance in "The Revenant" has finally been screened and it seems like everything is in place for him to finally win. Especially considering his competition has largely As for the other nominees? Michael B. Jordan has emerged a last minute contender for "Creed," but the nomination itself will be the reward if he pulls it off. Eddie Redmayne could be nominated again after winning last year, but he's not expected to go two-for-two. Michael Fassbender, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Matt Damon and Tom Hanks have all got strong notices for "Steve Jobs," "Black Mass," "Concussion," "The Martian" and "Bridge of Spies," respectively, and should make up two or three more of the nominees. They'll. »
- Peter Knegt
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