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While Sir Ben Kingsley has only a supporting role in Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of The Tomb, he packs both of his scenes with the expected intensity. There’s no denying that this man has a really remarkable screen presence.
Earlier this week, I sat down with Sir Ben to chat about his acting processes and philosophies, the influence of documentaries on his performances, how Night At The Museum fits into the bigger picture of his career and, finally, about his approach to voice acting, as per The Boxtrolls and Jon Favreau’s upcoming Jungle Book where he’s playing Bagheera.
There's a great variety of films on your CV but I'm left curious as to what kind of films you actually like to watch. »
For those fans of "Birdman" fear not. Yes, your favorite film of the year was all but shut out of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards but this group has a spotty record at crystal-balling the Oscars. (Read full report of their winners here.) -Break- Related: 'Boyhood' wins four Los Angeles Film Critics Awards Last year, the group went with two films -- "Gravity" and "Her" -- for Best Picture over eventual Oscar champ "12 Years a Slave." In 2012, these left coasters named "Amour" as their favorite flick. While that French-language film went on to reap an Oscar bid, the winner of the top Academy Award was "Argo." Indeed, in its 39-year history, Lafca has only predicted seven winners of the Best Picture Oscar. The last of these was Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" in 2009. Prior to that it was way back in 1993 when "Schindler's List" ran the »
Seeing as tomorrow's Oscar column is (perhaps refreshingly) not focused on the precursor awards, I figured I would get a few thoughts out on how things have gone so far. And if you're a supporter of "Boyhood," they've gone very, very well. With the Lafca Best Picture win today, Richard Linklater's film joins a select group of movies that won top honors from both the Los Angeles and New York elite critics organizations. Those films are: "The Social Network," "The Hurt Locker," "Sideways," "Saving Private Ryan," "L.A. Confidential," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Schindler's List," "Goodfellas" and "Terms of Endearment." Of immediate note: this isn't particularly helpful for Oscar prospects it seems, as only three of those eight films went on to win the Best Picture Oscar. Why is that? A good possibility might be the tendency for saturation. Last year the La and NY critics might have done "12 Years »
- Kristopher Tapley
Last Monday, the New York Film Critics Circle went with "Boyhood" for Best Picture and this Sunday its West Coast counterpart, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., went against its tradition of being contrary and endorsed this decision. (See complete list of winners here.) -Break- Related: Complete list of New York Film Critics Circle Awards winners These two groups of movie critics rarely agree. The L.A. scribes began handing out awards in 1975 but it took till 1979 till they went with the same film -- eventual Oscar champ "Kramer vs. Kramer" -- as the New York crowd, which was formed in 1935. They have agreed 10 more times since: "Terms of Endearment' (1983), "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "Goodfellas" (1990), "Schindler's List" (1993), "Leaving Las Vegas" (1996), "L.A. Confidential" (1997), "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), "Sideways" (2004), &q..." »
On Monday, the New York Film Critics Circle went with "Boyhood" for Best Picture. Will its West Coast counterpart, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., endorse this decision on Sunday when its members meet to decide on the best of the year? -Break- Related: Complete list of New York Film Critics Circle Awards winners The two groups of movie scribes rarely agree. The La critics began handing out awards in 1975 but it took till 1979 till they went with the same film -- eventual Oscar champ "Kramer vs. Kramer" -- as the New York crowd, which was formed in 1935. They have agreed 10 more times since: "Terms of Endearment' (1983), "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "Goodfellas" (1990), "Schindler's List" (1993), "Leaving Las Vegas" (1996), "L.A. Confidential" (1997), "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), "Sideways" (2004), "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) and &q..." »
With Timothy Spall's Best Actor victory for "Mr. Turner" at Monday's New York Film Critics Circle announcement, the organization continues its love affair with the films of British director Mike Leigh. -Break- 'Boyhood,' Timothy Spall, Marion Cotillard win New York Film Critics' Circle Awards The love story begins over 20 years ago with Leigh's third feature film, "Naked." The film took home the prize for Best Actor in 1993 for David Thewlis, besting eventual Oscar champ Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia") as well as Anthony Hopkins ("The Remains of the Day"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("In the Name of the Father"), and Liam Neeson ("Schindler's List"). The film also finished in third place for Best Film and Director, which it lost to "Schindler's List" and Jane Campion for "The Piano," respectively. Their paths would cross again six years later with the film " »
We're covering a lot of ground today with the centerpiece being our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. We also dig into the Bill Cosby controversy for a second, the death of Mike Nichols, Universal's plans for at least three more Fast & Furious movies, Prometheus 2, Zoolander 2, a few of your questions, some games and a few knicks and knacks along the way. Hope you enjoy! If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »
- Brad Brevet
Steven Spielberg is among those mourning his friend and fellow filmmaker Mike Nichols—the Oscar-winning director of The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Catch-22, Primary Colors, and Charlie Wilson's War, who has died at the age of 83. Spielberg, who has known Nichols for decades, released a statement calling Nichols "a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America's all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known." Actors usually end up sharing the screen with countless colleagues over a lifetime, but being a director is a solitary profession. One film typically has one filmmaker. »
- Anthony Breznican
Benedict Cumberbatch is Alan Turing. Benedict Cumberbatch is also the most popular Sherlock Holmes in history, the terrible and stupendous dragon Smaug in The Hobbit film adaptations and the ultimate nemesis that is Khan in the alternate-timeline that constitutes the Star Trek reboot movie cycle.
Benedict Cumberbatch is also set to become Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - the hottest multi-franchise in the galaxy (several galaxies, actually) and the multifaceted pop-cultural entity magnetically attracting the most fascination and speculation right now (even more than the upcoming Star Wars sequels, which Cumberbatch has also been heavily linked with. In all likelihood, for all we know, Benedict Cumberbatch is also a Star Wars secret).
Some call it the most important dress rehearsal of awards season. Saturday night's annual Governors Awards, held just a few floors above the distinguished Dolby Theatre where the Oscars take place, was initially created as a way to speed up the prime-time telecast by siphoning off the honorary awards to an event of their own. But now, in its sixth year, in addition to honoring some very distinguished guests, including Harry Belafonte for his decades of humanitarian work and legendary red-headed screen siren Maureen O'Hara, the night has transformed into a coming out party for the year's crop of Oscar »
- Nicole Sperling
Hollywood — At the 6th annual Governors Awards Saturday night, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Harry Belafonte brought things to a sober, classy close with a lengthy speech detailing some of Hollywood's history with social rights issues. It was a pretty powerful send-off (Michael Keaton seemed particularly knocked out from my vantage point). I've included the full text of the speech (the bulk of his remarks, that is) below, as it seemed like something worth sharing. For more on the evening, be sure to read our coverage from the event. *** America has come a long way since Hollywood in 1915 gave the world the film "Birth of a Nation." By all measure, this cinematic work was considered the greatest film ever made. The power of moving pictures to impact on human behavior was never more powerfully evidenced than when after the release of this film, American citizens went on a murderous rampage. »
- Kristopher Tapley
"Clothes don't make the man?" That rule certainly doesn't hold true in the movies. Dress can say a lot about characters, their class, their self-image, their self-consciousness, the period and place in which they live, the story they're living and how a director wishes an audience to perceive them. Fortunately, the Academy's Costume Design branch recognizes this, as it consistently proves itself to be one of the most original sects of the organization, not overtly swayed by a film's overall perception. Every year, films that are critically maligned and/or have no other nominations tend to score here and the overall state of the Best Picture race tends to play only a peripheral role. Nevertheless, trends can be noted. Period pieces almost always take a majority of the nominations, frequently all five. Glamor is also awarded frequently. There are also great designers (such as Sandy Powell, Milena Canonero and Colleen Atwood »
- Gerard Kennedy
Neil Patrick Harris to host Oscar 2015 ceremony Stage, film, and television actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2015 Oscars, aka the 87th Academy Awards ceremony, Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today, October 15, 2014. This will be Neil Patrick Harris' first time hosting the show, which in the United States will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 22. As quoted in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release, Zadan and Meron are "thrilled" to have Harris host their show, adding that "we have known him his entire adult life" and "to work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm." As to be expected, Harris' statement reads that “it is truly an honor and a thrill" to be invited to host the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony Now, Neil Patrick Harris is an experienced awards-show host. His credits in the field include hosting the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, »
- Steve Montgomery
X-Men: Days of Future Past It's interesting to me in that I consider X-Men: Days of Future Past one of the best movies of 2014 and the second best blockbuster of the summer behind Edge of Tomorrow and yet I have little to no interest in seeing it again. I've seen plenty of trailers as of late promoting today's release of the DVD and Blu-ray and each time I remember enjoying the movie, but a feeling of meh when it comes to watching it again comes over me. Nevertheless, I can still I say I felt it was a good movie... that one time I saw it.
Fargo Season One Here's a show I need to get back to and finish. Everyone I've talked to and seen comment online has enjoyed it and having already watched three of the ten episodes it only makes sense I finish it.
Venus in Fur »
- Brad Brevet
Christopher Reeve Foundation for spinal cord and stem cell research (photo: Darryl Hannah and Christopher Reeve in 'Rear Window') (See previous post: "'Superman' Christopher Reeve and his Movies: Ten-Year Death Anniversary.") In his 1998 autobiography Still Me, Christopher Reeve recalled: "At an especially bleak moment [prior to an operation that might result in his death], the door [of his hospital room] flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." The "old friend" was the recently deceased Robin Williams, whom Reeve had befriended while both were studying at Juillard. Eventually, Reeve became a staunch advocate for spinal cord and stem cell research, sponsoring with his wife the Christopher Reeve Foundation — later renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (and formerly known »
- Andre Soares
While Steven Spielberg searched for his next movie, flirting with "American Sniper" before giving way to Clint Eastwood, famed cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was vigorously pursued by David Dobkin to shoot "The Judge." The two-time Oscar-winner ("Saving Private Ryan," "Schindler's List") was impressed with Dobkin's passion and ambition for this film about father-son estrangement. It was a far cry from Dobkin's earlier "The Change-Up" and "Wedding Crashers," and the powerful odd couple pairing of the two Roberts (Downey Jr. and Duvall) proved too irresistible for Kaminski to turn down. "I like David's movies, but he made sure this movie had autobiographical elements from his life [humbled by taking care of his estranged mother], which is always very uplifting to me," Kaminski explained by phone from New York, where he's currently shooting Spielberg's "St. James Place," the true-life '60s Cold »
- Bill Desowitz
138 is a magic number. It's the average length, in minutes, of a Best Picture winner. Here are the running times of all winnners from longest to shortest. You'll see that the majority of winners are over 2 hours long which has caused no end of padding in "serious" movies but alas, not enough padding for tender buttocks watching the interminable movies.
Here are your Best Picture winners from longest film to the shortest.
Gone With the Wind (1939) 238 minutes
Just two minutes shy of four hours, but worth every second. Lots of Gone With the Wind discussion here. Did you see its recent two day theatrical screening? Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 216 minutes Ben-Hur (1959) 212 minutes
Currently in the process of being remade because that's how Hollywood do. Although this film was itself a remake so... we'll let it pass. Still there is no way its signature scene, the chariot race, will be as thrilling with CGI. »
- NATHANIEL R
Why don't we talk about Steven Spielberg's "Munich" more? Flipping his sentimentalist reputation the bird, the docudramatized look inside Mossad's covert retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization is unmercifully tense and morally complicated to the point of inducing anxiety attacks. "Munich" is weaponized blockbuster filmmaking — and it sounds like Spielberg's antsy to return to the style. Perhaps praise for the 2006 Best Picture-nominee will resurface next October, when Spielberg adds another notch to his thriller belt with a Cold War drama starring "Catch Me If You Can" star Tom Hanks. Dreamworks and Walt Disney Pictures announced today that principal photography has begun on the currently untitled film, which costars Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Shooting around New York and Berlin, the film tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney thrust into Cold War chaos when the CIA recruits him for a "near-impossible mission to negotiate the »
- Matt Patches
Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski works on about one film per year and has collaborated with Steven Spielberg on over a dozen films, including "Schindler's List," "War of the Worlds," "Munich," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and "Lincoln." He recently completed work on Robert Downey Jr's "The Judge" and is already planning something for 2015. In an interview with Variety, he revealed that his next movie will be a re-teaming with Spielberg for "Indiana Jones 5." We've heard of lots of hints that "Indiana Jones 5" is moving forward, but mostly from crew members and leaked schedules. But now that Kaminski has confirmed the project, it's only a matter of time before filming begins. »
Over at Slashfilm they noticed something of a throwaway line in a recent article at Variety discussing the new collaborative online project from cinematographers Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska) and Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises) in which the trio will offer a series of online instructional videos for aspiring filmmakers at Advanced Filmmaking. The line has to do with Kaminski, which goes as follows: Since then, Kaminski has made more than a dozen films with Steven Spielberg, earning two Oscars along the way. His credits include Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and The Diving Bell & the Butterfly. His next project is the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones movie. Wait, whatc His next projectc Kaminski previously worked on The Judge, which hits theaters on October 10 (my review) and is now working on Spielberg's Untitled Cold War thriller (which is going by St. James Place on set, but that is not »
- Brad Brevet
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