5 items from 2014
If J.J. Abrams knows what’s good for him, he’s keeping his fingers on the pulse of the Star Wars: Episode VII rumor mill; innumerable fragments of gossip, malarkey, and flimflam regarding the hermetically sealed project’s secrets have provided enough screenplay material to fuel the next couple of films in the series single-handedly. Most of these whispers and murmurs get debunked, mind, and often within the same time frame they’re introduced, but a little misinformation can go a long way toward igniting plot speculation for a movie that still lacks a subtitle.
- Andy Crump
The big winners at last night's 16-hour Oscar ceremony: Dreams. Inspiration. Heroes. So live the impossible, because that’s what Jared Leto's mom would want. Just keep livin', because no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid and your magic is real. Hey, movie stars, we get it — nobody’s against dreams, right? We are all, as Fred Durst would put it, in agreeance here? But like Matthew McConaughey says, "We all need somebody to look up to, somebody to look down on, somebody to chase, somebody to love, »
Despite a terrifically loose Ellen DeGeneres, the first half of the Oscars was the type of slog that makes you wonder if your friends who don’t watch TV are onto something.
Last night got off to a dreadfully slow start – Ellen’s great monologue aside, which included that surprising and just-this-side-of-cruel dig on Liza Minnelli. From the beginning the show was almost fatally crippled by the thick-with-self-regard theme of “Heroes in Hollywood.” That meant puffy, poorly edited montages of animated heroes, action heroes, and those ordinary among us who commit quiet acts of heroism (you know, average Joes like »
- Karen Valby
Won’t someone save cable news? It’s not just that ratings are down across the board for the Big Three 24-hour networks — although 2013 was unquestionably a bad year for everyone. Far more damaging, I think, is the fact that cable news as an aesthetic — as a compelling method for exploring the important topics of our modern era — has entered what feels like a late-decadent period. The typical news anchor on CNN or MSNBC or Fox News floats across a set built out of touchscreen walls and occasional chat-friendly desks: It’s like all of cable news takes place in »
- Darren Franich
This week sees the rebirth of a screen action hero that we’ve previously seen portrayed three times before in four different blockbusters. Much like England’s 007, the changing face of Jack Ryan has had his ups and downs. Initially coming to the fore in author Tom Clancy’s gripping novels, the CIA analyst first made his entrance on the silver screen in John McTiernan’s The Hunt For Red October with Alec Baldwin. Harrison Ford then took over for Patriot Games and Clear & Present Danger, before Ben Affleck and The Sum Of All Fears’ disappointing box-office take saw the character temporarily retired.
Kenneth Branagh was chosen to breathe new life into Ryan and kickstart a much-needed franchise for Paramount Pictures. However, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, unlike those aforementioned features, is the first not to be based on a Clancy book. It’s an updated reinvention and origin story of »
- Craig Hunter
5 items from 2014
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