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Entries in Angelina Jolie (44)

Saturday
Sep202014

Tim's Toons: The CGI spectacle and unrealism of Sky Captain

Tim here. This week marks the ten-year anniversary of one of the most important milestones in modern feature animation, though it’s a form of animation that tends to make itself invisible. But when most of the sets, and several of the major characters in movies from Avatar to Gravity to Guardians of the Galaxy are created entirely in a computer by digital artists, can we really keep blithely calling these “live-action movies” without briefly wondering if our pants have just burst in flame? It’s not Disney/Pixar-style cartooning, but these are partially or wholly animated worlds by any definition I can come up with. And it was on September 17, 2004 that Paramount released Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which made history as the first Hollywood movie made entirely on green screens, with every single location created artificially in post-production...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep152014

Thoughts I Had...While Admiring the Beauty of Brangelina in "By the Sea"

abstew here with some random thoughts on the just released new stills from the newest directorial effort of Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, By the Sea. EW received the exclusive pics (hence the magazine's watermark on the photos) and a mini-interview with the writer/director/producer and star that pairs her up on screen with new husband Brad Pitt (their first on-screen partnering since the film that brought them together and launched a million tabloid magazine covers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Set in the 1970's, Jolie stars as a former ballet dancer travelling France with her American husband (that would be Pitt, naturally). Their marriage is beginning to show signs of strain and they find themselves drawn to the inhabitants of a small costal town on their journeys...and comedy ensues! (But probably not):

  • Damn. I feel like they just announced this film was in the works and we already have photos after one week of shooting...and just three weeks after a super secret marriage? Beautiful, talented, and hyper-organized. That Jolie-Pitt household must run like a well-oiled machine. Which I guess it would have to considering how many children there are to juggle as well.
  • I love that instead of going on a traditional honeymoon, Brad and Angelina chose to spend 8 weeks filming a domestic drama together. Apparently Angie's calling it a "Workingmoon". Ugh.
  • God, they're both so pretty. Just look at that face. If Madonna were singing about movie stars of today it would be, "Angelina: Gave Good Face."
  • I'm getting serious Sophia Loren vibes from Angie in this pic. 
  • Everyone is always complaining that Angie is a movie star without the movies to back it up. After the commercial success of Maleficent, could this be the critical hit that boosts her film legacy?
  • Film about a failing marriage, starring Hollywood's biggest real-life couple - is it too much pressure to already compare this to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 
  • Although the last time we had Angie in a lush European setting we got everyone's favorite Musical or Comedy The Tourist, so...yeah, maybe too much pressure. I should settle for something in between the two.
  • But how great would it be if Brad and Angie were both nominated for acting Oscars in the same year for the same film? Maybe throw Jon Voight in there too just to make it a complete family affair.

  • Honestly, can we get Brad Pitt an acting Oscar already?! They can keep it on a separate shelf away from the producing Oscars and give Angie's Best Supporting Actress acting statue some company. And Zahara, Shiloh, and lil Vivienne can dress them up in doll clothes.
  • Sideburns, creepy sunglasses, and pornstache? Yep, this is definitely set in the 70's.
  • Although staring into that mirror, I half expect him to reenact the final scene in Boogie Nights. "I am a star..."
  • Isn't Mélanie Laurent in this as well? I want a picture of her, too! God, she's so good in Beginners and Inglorious Basterds (with Pitt!).
  • I actually didn't like Brangelina's last on-screen pairing, but there was no denying their combustible chemistry. I'm curious if after almost 10 years together they'll still be able to make that spark between them light up the screen. And I know we generally wait for an actual trailer before utilizing Yes, No, Maybe So, but I'm already a Yes...

Universal is releasing By the Sea sometime next year (most likely in the Fall). But in the meantime, we'll have countless red carpet and awards show appearances this season for both stars as Pitt has Oscar hopeful Fury opening October 17 and the Angelina Jolie-helmed Unbroken opens Christmas Day.

Saturday
Aug302014

Game of Links

Catching up on news & noteworthy we didn't cover the past couple of days...

Brangelina
Vanity Fair the details of the Brangelina marriage that we know. I'm really so happy for them as a longtime fan but...
Time knocks them for not keeping their promise to the gays. I knew this backlash would happen. But they did hold out a long time and they've done so much good for the world including for marriage equality that I think we should let it slide
Gawker asks the intriguing question: "Why is Angelina Jolia a movie star?"

Some of her movies have been well-received acting vehicles. Some of her movies have been gargantuan commercial products. There is no place where those circles overlap on the Venn diagram. 

It's worth pondering her atypical celebrity.

Absolute Must Read!
/bent has a fascinating long essay about HBO, Game of Thrones, and the distinct feeling that TV series are beginning to go for sex and violence just to have them rather than serve the story. It's a super interesting detailed piece that covers more than just Game of Thrones but past series as well and troubling gender politics and rape fantasies. 

More Linkage For Infotainment
Variety has intriguing film/stage news: Vincent Kartheiser of Mad Men fame will be playing the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder on stage in a play about the making of Double Indemnity. Good luck finding someone who can pull off Barbara Stanwyck!
The Film Stage a new trailer for Stephen Daldry's Trash. You guys no matter what I do, I cannot remember to watch this. I didn't see the first one either. I still know nothing about this movie
Deadline the first Oscar FYC screener to go out is actually Snowpiercer. That's a fun surprise. They're pushing Tilda Swinton for Best Supporting Actress. I can't find a large enough photo of the screener online to tell who else they're pushing though. 

/Film The Maze Runner is being shown in "Panoramic Projection" which is a new thing that's apparently descended from CinemaScope.  
In Contention Kate Winslet and a bunch of acclaimed actors are starring in John Hillcoat's (Lawless) next feature in 2015 called Triple Nine
Out profiles Belgian superstar Matthias Schoenaerts
Empire Charlie Hunnam to play King Arthur for Guy Ritchie
The Wire explains the messy chain of events of that Bryan Singer sexual abuse lawsuit, which has now been dismissed 
Variety The Art Directors Guild has expanded their annual awards categories. Lots of interesting things will be honored now like storyboard artists and such 
Gizmodo wonders how NYC would respond to an actual Stay Puft Marshmallow Man attack. 
/Film Actor Bill Hader shares a list of his 200 favorites  (I was super happy to see Trouble in Paradise, Nashville, and L'Atalante... let's just say he has really good taste)
Vulture talks to Jessica Chastain about yet another season of multiple movies and her love of movies, even the bad silly ones.

But tonight I'm going to the movies and I really go to the movies any chance I can... I love 'em all."

Small Screen
Decider looks back at a very special episode of "The Facts of Life". Weren't they all? 
Variety on why the Emmy rules are so hard to fix
Variety talks to Allison Janney about her career and double Emmy night
TV Line great news: Enver Gjokaj, so brilliant on Dollhouse and not as well employed as he should be is joining the Marvel Universe via that Agent Peggy Carter show 
Pajiba David Fincher's Gap commercials  

DISCUSSION TOPIC
Do you ever find yourself reading a blog post or essay or watching a conversation and one casual remark will totally throws you out of the piece until it's all you can think of? That's what happened to me with that Hilary Swank comment the other day. It happened twice more last night. I was watching an interview with the star of Obvious Child, Jenny Slate, where she was all "I miss romantic comedies where women are complex". Me too! But then her example of non-complex is shade thrown Kristen Wiig & Bridesmaids way? HUH? That's one of the only great romantic comedies of the past decade with complex female characterizations. Then I'm over at Film School Rejects reading a take on the Honorary Oscars and they're complaining about no "career tribute" style Oscar nomination for Maureen O'Hara in that John Candy movie Only the Lonely (1991). And then Christopher Campbell writes:

Did they really need to honor Juliette Lewis instead?

What-the-what-now? Juliette was the best one in her category that year! Plus, sucking Robert DeNiro's thumb is really going above and beyond for art on account of gross.

Has this happened to you recently where you just can't with one sentence? 

 

Sunday
Aug242014

182 days 'til Oscar

Which power couple will be obsessing over in just six months time? The 87th Oscars approach and as long as the movies have been around there have been fabulously wealthy and glamorous movie star couples. Take Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks for instance, the original celebrity power couple. If you must know (I know you are too shy to ask) my favorite films of theirs are His: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Hers: Stella Maris (1918) though admittedly I have many more left to see.

Fairbanks & Pickford were married in 1920 when both were superstars, he the original Zorro and she Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and other big hits. He famously gave Pickford "The Star of Bombay," a 182-carat sapphire which was not actually from Bombay but from Sri Lanka. She later bequeathed it to the Smithsonian where it remains. There's your priceless (okay, $½ million in today's dollars) piece of trivia for the day. You're welcome.

Pickford (the original "America's Sweetheart") and Fairbanks (the original "King of Hollywood") were among the 36 co-founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fairbanks served as its first President and both would eventually receive Honorary Oscars with Mary also winning a regular statuette for Coquette). Could they have ever imagined how obsessive we'd all be about their little annual banquets 87 years later? 

At the 86th Oscars, contemporary Hollywood's most glamorous megastar couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt famously ate a pizza (well, he did) but they were also honored. She took home an Honorary (albeit non televised. argh) and he won his first competitive Oscar for producing 12 Years a Slave. They could theoretically both take home Oscars again if Fury and Unbroken are massive hits with AMPAS and reasonably well liked by audiences. 

Do you think they will be?

CURRENT OSCAR PREDICTIONS (which category needs a major rethink?)

Saturday
Jun142014

Links, Kids

Broadway World James Whale's Showboat finally on DVD
AV Club whoa. The Grand Budapest Hotel made entirely out of Legos
Antagony & Ecstacy reviews The Fault in Our Stars with the best review title going anywhere. The rest of the review is another reminder that Tim Brayton is one of the essential online critics.


AP "Dame" Angelina Jolie? She just received an honorary title in England
Deadline Keanu Reeves will take the role vacated by Daniel Craig in that Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) Renée Zellweger picture The Whole Truth so it's back on
In Contention is The Judge with Downey Jr and Duvall an Oscar contender?
Deadline Tom Hiddleson will star as Hank Williams in an upcoming biopic and do his own singing!
The Black Maria looks back at the brief swing music renaissance in 90s cinema. Oh I used to love Swing Kids
Employee of the Month interviews the incomparable performance artist Taylor Mac
Yahoo horrifying slapstick bathroom humor of Paddington teaser will break the hearts of anyone who loved the actual dignified humble character of Paddington in book form. Sigh... here's another flop for Nicole Kidman (who does not appear in the teaser)
Pop Watch wants blockbusters to lighten up and return to fun times. Agreed. Love the list of who is to blame.

Finally...
Though we already gagged over this on Twitter, if you haven't yet seen it because you were mainlining OITNB or (gasp) offline, here is Sarah Paulson introducing her new character... excuse me, new characters on American Horror Story season 4. Meet "Bette" and "Dot"...

 

 

I can't think of an actress on TV that I'd like to see two of more right now, can you?

 

Monday
Jun092014

Beauty Vs. Beast: Swan Against Swan

JA from MNPP here - it's time for some "Beauty Vs. Beast" yo! We're getting our Aronofsky on this week - I chose to take us back to 2010 for a Black Swan face-off for the specific reason that today is Natalie Portman's 33rd birthday (Happy birthday, Nat!), and it was only after that I mentally connected it to last week's Girl Interrupted face-off - only now, seeing them side by side like this, do the paralells seem striking - two crazy gals feeding off each other's craziness, Winona Ryder talking about oral sex... it's a real double-feature. And I suppose "double" is the operative word...

 

So pirouette yourself to one side or the other between now and next Monday, folks!

PREVIOUSLY And as for last week's Winona versus Angie showdown, y'all made like the Oscars and gave your love to the big show on the sidelines of Girl Interrupted - Jolie took the title with 62% of your votes. Said David:

"She drove poor, fried-chicken-hording Brittany Murphy to suicide in the first 45 minutes and she was just getting started.... Angelina Jolie wins this by a mile."

Wednesday
Jun042014

Maleficent Cake. Yum?

Happy Birthday Angelina Jolie! They made a cake for the megastar when Maleficent premiered in China. (More pics of her visit at Variety). Do you want some?

 

Pleez, it's not like Angelina is actually going to eat it!

You saw her with the pizza at the Oscars or, rather, you saw her without the pizza at the Oscars. I suspect we're going to get way too many Disney Villain movies now that Maleficent is a massive hit. But I really don't think they should make an Ursula cake. Seafood is not for dessert.