17 items from 2015
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 322 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2015. “It’s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization.” The 2015 invitees are: Actors Elizabeth Banks – “Love & Mercy,” “The Hunger Games” Choi Min-sik– “Lucy,” “Oldboy” Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” Martin Freeman – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Hot Fuzz” Heather Graham – “The Hangover,” “Boogie Nights” Tom Hardy – “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inception” Kevin Hart – “The Wedding Ringer,” “Ride Along »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
The big opening at Tribeca on Sunday was Name’s Maggie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first indie role, as a father in a zombie-style apocalypse who has to deal with the infection of his daughter. However, your humble correspondent won’t be able to see that film until later this week. Fortunately, there were no shortage of films to report on Sunday and Monday, and one of them actually did star a Teutonic titan.
That film is Virgin Mountain, whose title in Swedish is Fusi, after the main character played by Gunnar Jonsson. Fusi is a sexless 43-year-old, but no one should confuse this film with The 40-Year-Old Virgin. There’s no slapstick in play here, and not even that much fun; most shots in the film are what I like to call “Sad Verb” shots, where the lead character morosely performs alone in a scene designed to make the audience say “awwwww… »
- Mark Young
All the comedic and visual elan of an amateur YouTube fratboy prank, including nonstop rape jokes and rampant homophobia. Are you laughing yet? I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Did someone get to Will Ferrell, and to Adam McKay, Ferrell’s partner in Gary Sanchez Productions and one of the writers of Get Hard? Because just a few years ago, the pair made the very funny and surprisingly culturally incisive The Other Guys, with its anti-Wall Street-shenanigans theme and its amazing end credits, which basically amounted to a Michael Moore-style rant about the 2008 economic collapse. And now, Get Hard is exactly opposite of the sort of thematic followup we should have expected from them, one that utterly lacks the courage of its convictions. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Warner Bros. has added yet another movie to its expansive Lego franchise, with writers Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) signing on to write the script and co-direct a new project entitled The Billion Brick Race. This project will be the fourth to be spawned from last year's blockbuster The Lego Movie. Warner Bros. is currently working on Ninjago (September 23, 2016), The Lego Batman Movie (May 26, 2017) and The Lego Movie Sequel slated for release sometime in 2018.
No specific details were given, but the story is based on an original idea that Drew Pearce came up with, which "excited the studio," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Billion Brick Race will be both Jason Segel and Drew Pearce's directorial debuts, although no release date was given at this time. Since Warner Bros. currently has Lego movies planned until 2018, it's certainly possible they could be aiming for a 2019 release, »
Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) have been tapped by Warner Bros. to write and direct a brand new Lego spinoff. Titled The Billion Brick Race, this is now the fourth movie on the studio’s slate linked to last year’s uber-successful The Lego Movie. Ninjago will arrive next year, The Lego Batman Movie is set for 2017 and The Lego Movie 2 will follow in 2019. No release date has been announced for the Segel-Pearce spinoff as yet, but it’s highly likely to land sometime after the first Lego sequel.
The Billion Brick Race will mark both Segel and Pearce’s first proper foray into feature directing. Easing them into the process are The Lego Movie creative hub Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who are all on board to produce. The film is based on an original idea by Pearce that “excited the studio. »
- Gem Seddon
Warner Brothers has hired Jason Segel (The Muppets) and Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) to write and co-direct the latest The Lego Movie spinoff, The Billion Brick Race. This marks the feature directorial debut for both of the writers, though Pearce previously directed the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King. Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Dan Lin and Roy Lee, the key creative minds behind The Lego Movie, are onboard as producers. This is the third follow-up announced in the wake of Lego's enormous success - Charlie Bean will direct Ninjago in 2016, which will be followed by Chris McKay's The Lego Batman Movie in 2017 and Rob Schrab's The Lego Movie Sequel in 2018. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Billion Brick Race is still in the early stages of development, so no plot details are known at this point, and no release date is set. [caption id="attachment_342877" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Sony[/caption] Segel and Pearce »
- Haleigh Foutch
I have expressed my less than favorable view of Kevin Hart both in articles and the podcast. His screaming in place of jokes schtick is grating, and I honestly do not understand the appeal. However, in Get Hard, he is paired up with Will Ferrell and ostensibly takes up the straight man role to Ferrell's more wacky counterpart. The results are surprisingly effective, as the two strike up a great chemistry with one another and create a lot of laughs. The film has a horrible homophobic touch to it, along with almost every woman character (and by almost, I mean two of the three in the movie) are treated as merely sex objects, but the stuff around that, like showcasing the worst tendencies of racial stereotyping, had me laughing rather consistently. James King (Ferrell) is an extremely successful hedge fund manager. He was just made partner at his company by »
- Mike Shutt
James Franco is in talks to star in the 20th Century Fox comedy Why Him?, which will be produced by Shawn Levy's 21 Laps company and Ben Stiller's Red Hour Pictures. Both of the production companies are based on the 20th Century Fox lot.
The plot centers on a Midwestern father who takes his family on a trip to Stanford, to visit his daughter during the Christmas holiday. What started as an innocent family trip quickly spirals out of control, as the father gets into an unexpected competition with his daughter's new boyfriend, a young Internet billionaire. While Variety doesn't specify which role James Franco will play, it seems likely that he will portray the billionaire boyfriend.
John Hamburg (I Love You, Man, Along Came Polly) is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Nick Stoller (Neighbors, The Five-Year Engagement) and Ian Helfer (The Oranges). No production schedule was given at this time, »
A charm-free hero with control issues and a passive, fretful heroine have coy and tediously vanilla pretend-sex. This is meant to be erotic? I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): despise the book and despair of its popularity
I have read the source material (and I hate it)
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Let’s be clear about one thing: The problem with Fifty Shades of Grey is not the sex.
I mean, apart from how Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have no onscreen chemistry at all. And apart from how watching them pretend to fuck is utterly unsexy and unromantic. And apart from how coy and tediously vanilla the pretend-sex is (even more vanilla than the not-at-all-BDSMy sex in the book!). And apart from how no one ever gets to actually come because the gauzy dissolve into the next scene happens before anyone orgasms… »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Eddie Murphy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Evans, Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Lopez, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Margot Robbie will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced on Thursday. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Murphy received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 2006 film “Dreamgirls.” He has starred in such features as “Bowfinger” (1999), “The Nutty Professor” (1996), “Coming to America” (1988), “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984) and “48 Hrs.” (1982), and has lent his voice talents to all four of the “Shrek” animated features to date. He will next be seen in the independent drama “Cook.”
Ejiofor received his first Oscar nomination last year for his lead performance in “12 Years a Slave.” He previously appeared in such features as “Salt” (2010), “American Gangster” (2007), “Children of Men” (2006) and “Dirty Pretty Things” (2003). His upcoming films include “Z for Zachariah” and “Triple Nine. »
- Michelle McCue
Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC. Affleck, a two-time Academy Award® winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar® for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.” Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. »
- Josh Abraham
Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Affleck, a two-time Academy Award winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.”
Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. »
- Michelle McCue
Sneak Peek new images of actress Dakota Johnson ("Fifty Shades Of Grey"), in the February 2015 issue of "Vogue" fashion magazine, photographed by Mario Testino, plus take a look @ Johnson in the Nsfw short film "In a Relationship":
Johnson also played the female lead in the film "Date and Switch".
In March 2012, she was cast as 'Kate' in the Fox comedy series "Ben and Kate", then followed up with more film roles "Need for Speed" (2014) and "Anarchy". In 2014, she also co-starred in "Black Mass", to be followed by "I Am Love".
Click the images to enlarge »
- Michael Stevens
17 items from 2015
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