19 items from 2015
“While some have been quick to judge a movie they haven’t seen and a script they haven’t read, the film ‘Aloha’ respectfully showcases the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people,” the studio said in a statement. “Filmmaker Cameron Crowe spent years researching this project and many months on location in Hawaii, cultivating relationships with leading local voices. He earned the trust of many Hawaiian community leaders, including Dennis ‘Bumpy’ Kanahele, who plays a key role in the film.”
“Aloha” stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Bill Murray, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin. The Sony statement was issued in the wake of recent accusations by the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which asserted that “Aloha” misconstrues actual Hawaiian demographics by presenting a “white-washed” version of the state. »
- Dave McNary
It took them a few days, but Sony finally commented on complaints that writer/director Cameron Crowe's new movie "Aloha" -- starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, and Alec Baldwin -- is jam-packed with white people, like the ones named above, while relegating people of color to the sidelines.
"Caucasians only make up 30 percent of the population [of Hawaii], but from watching this film, you'd think they made up 99 percent," said Media Action Network for Asian Americans rep Guy Aoki (via New York Post). "This comes in a long line of films - 'The Descendants,' '50 First Dates,' 'Blue Crush,' 'Pearl Harbor' - that uses Hawaii for its exotic backdrop but goes out of its way to exclude the very people who live there. It's an insult to the diverse culture and fabric of Hawaii."
Aoki said the »
- Gina Carbone
In retrospect, the popularity of "Braveheart" seems like a foregone conclusion.
The movie, which opened 20 years ago this week (on May 24, 1995), won five Oscars, two of them for star Mel Gibson (in his roles as producer and director). The Best Picture winner thrilled audiences as well as critics with its exciting battle scenes, stirring speeches, and sweeping historical narrative of 13th-century Scottish independence fighter William Wallace. At its center is a charismatic performance by the "Lethal Weapon" star, then at the height of his popularity as a box office draw and action hero. It grossed $210 million worldwide. Two decades later, it's still the most famous movie ever made about Scotland.
Still, even though the movie has been a staple for 20 years, there may be plenty you don't know about it, from its generous liberties with history to the R-rated pranks the director pulled on his leading lady.
- Gary Susman
We really prefer the Kate Beckinsale of "Laurel Canyon," "The Last Days Of Disco" and "Snow Angels" to the Hollywood version, because if you focus on “Pearl Harbor” and all those “Underworld” films it’s easy to forget that the English actress can really act when she choose to. But people gotta eat and it’s not every day that there’s a female lead in action/fantasy franchise heading towards its fifth installment. so perhaps in that regards, we can make some kind of concession. It’d been rumored in the past, but THR has confirmed that Beckinsale will return for the currently untitled and fifth installment of the “Underworld” series. Beckinsale mostly sat out of 2009's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" though she did appear briefly. Once titled “Underworld: Next Generation," evidently that’s a hint at the plot that will pass the torch to apparently younger and hotter stars. »
- Edward Davis
Mario Van Peebles will direct from a script by Cam Cannon and Hannibal Classics principal Richard Rionda Del Castro. Producers are Rionda Del Castro and Michael Mendelsohn of Patriot Pictures, who is financing “Men of Courage” with Hannibal Classics.
Cage, who starred in “Tokarev” for Hannibal, will take on the role of Capt. Charles Butler McVay, whose ship was torpedoed in the South Pacific in July 1945, after delivering parts for the first atomic bombs. Their mission was classified, so the »
- Dave McNary
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
So, what’s the cure for overloading on the all-depressing news (now bombarding you with 24-hour cable channels along with the “interweb”)? Well, a time machine would be great. Imagine pulling the lever on Rod Taylor’s 1960 model or Doc Brown’s DeLorean-based 1985 sweet ride (thirty years, can’t be!). Too bad they don’t exist, but buying a ticket at the multiplex can whisk you away for a couple of hours or so, right? The feel-good nostalgia flick has become almost as popular a genre as the haunted house spook show or the sports “underdog” story. The 1940’s have proved a most popular destination for, well over forty years (remember Summer Of 42 back in 71’?). It’s been the setting for a very recent Oscar winner, The Imitation Game, and even a big superhero blockbuster with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hey, we just visited it two weeks ago in »
- Jim Batts
For a time during the early 2000s, Josh Hartnett was one of Hollywood's It Boys, starring in Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, and 40 Days and 40 Nights. However, his acting output has been noticeably slim over the last decade, a fact Hartnett attributes in a new interview with Playboy (via Variety) to turning down the role of Batman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. Yeah, that'll do the trick. In lieu of his decision, Hartnett made some smaller movies, and then he stopped working for a while because, as he tells Playboy, "I was tired and wanted to spend more time with my friends and family." Looking back, however, Hartnett wishes he'd have reconsidered his decision to turn down the cape and cowl. "I've definitely said no to some of the wrong people." He further elaborates: "I learned my lesson when Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn't for me. »
- Jordan Benesh
In the early 2000s, young heartthrob Josh Hartnett was in a position that many young actors would envy. He had just starred in two big movies (“Pearl Harbor” and “Black Hawk Down”) from two very different auteurs, and for a while it seemed like he could be the next top tier star: a new Tom Cruise or Will Smith. But Hartnett avoided being locked down in any possible blockbuster franchise by turning down one superhero role after another, yet there’s one he regrets saying no to. In a short interview with Playboy (via Variety), Hartnett was asked about the times he was asked to play Superman for Bryan Singer in “Superman Returns,” Spider-Man for Sam Raimi’s film of the same name and Batman for Christopher Nolan. What was his reasoning for turning down such potentially lucrative roles? “The intensity of my sudden fame was overwhelming for me, and in the middle of that, »
- Cain Rodriguez
Even the biggest movie stars have career regrets. At least, that’s what Josh Hartnett revealed in an interview with Playboy when he admitted that he turned down an offer from Christopher Nolan to play Batman in his superhero reboot.
“I’ve definitely said no to some of the wrong people,” Hartnett told the magazine. “I learned my lesson when Christopher Nolan and I talked about Batman. I decided it wasn’t for me. Then he didn’t want to put me in ‘The Prestige.’ They not only hired their Batman for it, they also hired my girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson) at the time.”
Hartnett went on to explain that he didn’t reject the offer due to any beef with Nolan, whom he describes as “incredibly cool and very talented,” but that his decision was a result of his resistance to being boxed in as only a blockbuster star. The »
- Marianne Zumberge
The fifth film in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series has begun filming. Here's the press release the company issued today to celebrate the news which also includes a detailed new synopsis. Here's the press release in full:
Queens Land, Australia (February 18, 2015) – Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' epic comedy adventure "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning ("Kon-Tiki"), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying »
- Garth Franklin
Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ epic comedy adventure Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning (“Kon-Tiki”), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Johnny Depp returns to his iconic, Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the most beloved characters in motion picture history, newly joined by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Skyfall”), rising young stars Kaya Scodelario (“The Maze Runner,” British television’s “Skins”) and Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent,” “The Giver”) and Golshifteh Farahani (“The Patience Stone,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings”).
Rejoining the action are Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, »
- Michelle McCue
Production has commenced on location in Australia on Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films' epic comedy adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki), the fifth entry in the blockbuster franchise inspired by the classic Disney Theme Parks attraction, which has reaped $3.7 billion in worldwide box office. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will film entirely at Village Roadshow Studios and on locations within Queensland, Australia.
Johnny Depp returns to his iconic, Academy Award-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow, one of the most beloved characters in motion picture history, newly joined by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall), rising young stars Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner, British television's Skins) and Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver) and Golshifteh Farahani (The Patience Stone, Exodus: Gods and Kings). Rejoining the action are Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, »
By Anjelica Oswald
Songwriter Diane Warren earned her seventh Oscar nomination this year for “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights. The song, which will be performed by Rita Ora at the Oscar ceremony, is Warren’s first nomination in 13 years. With a Grammy and a Golden Globe under her belt, she has yet to win an Oscar and is one of two Oscar-nominated songwriters to have at least seven nominations and not a single win. The other songwriter is Mack David.
Warren received her first nomination in 1988 for the song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” which she co-wrote with Albert Hammond, from the movie Mannequin. The song was a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 Hit in 1987.
She next landed four consecutive nominations nine years later starting with 1997’s nomination of “Because You Loved Me” from Up, Close & Personal. Though the song didn’t win an Oscar, it did score a Grammy. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" remained at the top of the domestic box office this weekend, grossing another $64 million to bring its worldwide total to almost $250 million. Domestically, "American Sniper" earned $200 million, which is more than other other war movies, except for one. The film recently surpassed Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor" ($198.5 million) and will soon overtake Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" ($216.5 million). Taking second place at the box office was Jennifer Lopez's "The Boy Next Door" thriller. The $4 million film opened to $15 million, but has a lousy 13% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. Landing in seventh place was George Lucas' animated "Strange Magic" movie, which grossed just $5.5 million, one of the worst openings ever for a film released in over 3,000 locations. The new movie has a terrible 11% fresh rating. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has another flop on his hands after "The Lone Ranger" and "Transcendence." Landing in ninth place is Depp's "Mortdecai" comedy, »
Final Update, Sunday Am: Warner Bros. is reporting that American Sniper will raise its domestic cume to $200.1M through Sunday after a massive $64.4M weekened at 3,705 theaters, the third-highest weekend ever in January, behind Sniper’s opening last weekend, and Avatar’s third Fss of $68.5M.
That figure, should it hold into tomorrow, marks a mere 28-percent slip – the best second-week hold for a wide release ever for a film that debuted with more than $85M. Previous to this, the best big debuts to hold an audience were 2004’s Shrek 2 (down 33 percent in its second frame) and 2002’s Spider-Man (down 38 percent). American Sniper is marching toward $300M, a mark only six Warner Bros. films have passed.
“Many exhibitors are hearing from their theater managers that the infrequent moviegoers who go only two to three times a year, are coming out to see this movie,” said Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
While some celebs may be dieting and working out to fit into that Oscar gown, Jennifer Garner won't be stressing.
In an interview with Yahoo Beauty, the Dallas Buyers Club star revealed that she doesn't go on hardcore food regimens or restrictive diets to get ready for awards season any more – thanks to years of doing so for Alias. Instead, she buys a dress that already fits.
News: Jennifer Garner Speaks Out Against Sexism in Hollywood
"I don't wear crazy dresses," Garner said. "I mean, believe me, there's always a point in the fitting where I feel like, 'Why didn't I just try to lose four pounds and then I could wear any dress?' I just can’t though."
As it turns out, years of needing to stay fit for grueling roles in action movies and TV shows were enough for Garner.
John Krasinski could wind up one of those actors who isn’t made for the movies. Whether it’s because he’s got a look more suited for television or that we’ll never stop seeing him as Jim Halpert from The Office or that he simply can’t lock down the right breakthrough role on the big screen, maybe he should just let his wife be the movie star (one who had a great 2014, by the way) and he can stick to being famous on the small screen, where his facial expressions get the proper attention in perpetual close-up. Or, maybe he just needs more time, like his UK Office counterpart, Martin Freeman, who just needed Peter Jackson to cast him as the lead in The Hobbit movies for a boost of cinematic notoriety (of course, Freeman’s most notable gigs of late are on TV: Fargo and Sherlock). And perhaps Michael Bay can be Krasinski »
- Christopher Campbell
Amazon declared itself a major player this past weekend, taking home two Golden Globes for "Transparent" — a series ordered up from its successful second pilot season. Now entering its fourth season, the young but powerful streaming network is looking for another "Transparent," or at least something built to bring in as much attention, awards and accolades as Jill Soloway's groundbreaking half-hour dramedy. But is there one among the six new scripted contenders in 2015? Take a look at our reviews, and then vote for yourself right here. "Point of Honor"A near if not total disaster, "Point of Honor" feels like watching a group of Civil War re-enactors get together and create their own false narrative. While that could be fun in a soapy kind of way, series creators Carlton Cuse ("Lost") and Randall Wallace ("Pearl Harbor") treat their material straight, asking audiences to take it very, very seriously. Occasional. »
- Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers
19 items from 2015