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Entries in Armie Hammer (24)

Monday
Jul082013

Review: Depp & Tonto (and The Lone Ranger, Too)

This review was originally published in my weekly column at Towleroad

If Hollywood has its own wild wild west, a mythic frontier to tame, it is undoubtedly a time rather than a place: Next Summer. And the one after that. Release dates famously come before screenplays and the studios start laying down their tracks to get there: concept, screenplay, pre-production, casting, filming, editing, promotion, release though not usually quite in that sensible artistic order. Budgets often balloon on the way to the imagined gold at the end of the line. Or silver, as is the case with the name of a certain iconic horse, and the coveted metal driving the plot and the literal train tracks in the new version of THE LONE RANGER.

Hollywood hasn't revived this particular franchise in over 30 years, for what one assumes are three reasons: westerns have been notoriously difficult sells for modern mainstream audiences; the last time they attempted this franchise, it failed; and the Tonto character opens you up to charges of racism and cultural insensitivity in modern times. But if anyone could revive this dead franchise and skirt these issues, the thinking went, wouldn't it be director Gore Verbinski and his masses-beloved star Johnny Depp (rumored to have some sort of Cherokee heritage, and adopted into the Comanche Nation last year) who together did the impossible 10 years ago in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, making a well reviewed, Oscar-nominated, mega-blockbuster out of a famous amusement park ride while also navigating another even more notoriously pricey and difficult to sell outmoded genre: the pirate movie!

The director and star aren't so lucky this time around. [more]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul072013

Box Office: The Lone Ranger Will Likely Not Ride Again

When I heard a few little kids doing that "bee-doh-bee-doh-bee-doh" siren noise in the exact inflection of a minion from Despicable Me 2 last week -- and that was just from trailer-indoctrination alone, y'know? -- I knew the box office would be gargantuan. And so it was becoming the 10th highest grosser of 2013 (thus far) after just 4 days of release. 

The Lone Ranger comes with a ready made catchphrase too... "Hi Yo, Silver. Away!" but the movie which is both too hip and too square for its own good (what is its target audience exactly? Other than "all" which often results in confusing tones), demeans the very use of it so you wont hear little kids doing any Lone Ranger chants in the streets. The box office opening for that film was dismal given its $215+ million budget. I'd say "don't expect a sequel" but you never know these days when they'll make a cheapo sequel (or reboot) to anything, "Branding" being everything in Hollywood.

TOP TEN
01 DESPICABLE ME 2 $82.5 *NEW* (cum. $142)
02 THE LONE RANGER $29.4 *NEW* (cum. $48.9)
03 THE HEAT  $25 (cum. $86.3) Capsule
04 MONSTERS UNIVERSITY  $19.5 (cum. $216.1) Review
05 WORLD WAR Z $18.2 (cum. $158.7) Review 
06 WHITE HOUSE DOWN  $13.5 (cum. $50.4)
07 MAN OF STEEL  $11.4 (cum. $271.2) Superheroes and Security
08 KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN $10.1 *NEW* (cum. $17.4)
09 THIS IS THE END $5.8 (cum. $85.8)
10 NOW YOU SEE ME $2.7 (cum. $110.4)

Of Note: Now You See Me has to be the sole contender for 'biggest hit of 2013 that nobody ever talks about' right? It's like one of those ol' CBS dramas from years past that were always super high in the Nielsens but had zero pop culture caché. 

Armie & Johnny get a look at their box office grosses

 

 

Honest question: who takes the blame for The Lone Ranger's failure to ignite? We've seen in the past that Hollywood is loathe to question the earning power of stars as big as Johnny Depp (note how long shtick-maestros John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were able to command huge paychecks in the 90s and Aughts with far far less in the way of consistent box office performance than Depp). Director Gore Verbinski has several blockbusters under his belt, too. Will they scapegoat the whole thing on poor Armie Hammer? He sure is handsome but he does seem to have been anointed the next big leading man far far sooner than his filmography requested. In fact, people were throwing leading roles and money at him after just one major supporting role (The Social Network), a film which he hardly had to carry or even elevate given how great it was coming together from virtually every angle. 

In platform limited release the coming-of-age summer film The Way Way Back (with a great cast that features Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and more) won the biggest numbers of the weekend which bodes well for its future. The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about backup singers to famous rock stars, continues to pull in big numbers on track to becoming the biggest doc hit of the year. Will an Oscar nomination follow? Oscar does like movies about the difficulties of showbiz. Oscar relates even if he's the biggest and sturdiest star of all. 

Monday
Apr022012

Review: "Mirror Mirror"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad.

Once upon a time there lived a director with big canvas visual ideas. He would stretch them across just about any surface and start painting. Serial killer craziness (The Cell), muscle queen mythology (The Immortals), and uncategorizable period fantasy (The Fall) were all fair game. Any topic would do including a comic spin on Snow White because why the hell not? 

His name was Tarsem Singh or Tarsem or Tarsem Singh Dwandwar or Tarsem Dwandwar Singh because he could never settle on a signature. He would halfheartedly skim screenplays until inspiration struck. Once the spell was cast, he'd toss the script into the fire, chug absinthe, and speed dial Eiko Ishioka. He'd sketch until the last of the words had turned to ash and only his drawings remained*. The end. 

*not his real process.

Whether you live happily ever after from watching his movies depends on what you go to the movies for. [Continue]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar092012

Say What, Lone Ranger

Amuse us in the comments by adding a caption or dialogue to this first still from Gore Verbinksi's The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the titular hero.

The Lone Ranger is a weird name since you always think of this story in terms of its pair, right?

Friday
Jan272012

'darling leave a link on for me' ♫

IndieWire and Cinema Blend Reports just keeping coming on the casting of the Charlie Kauffman's musical Frank or Francis. Kate Winslet, Catherine Keener, Paul Reubens and Elizabeth Banks now added to the cast.
Coming Soon Sarah Jessica Parker will now play Gloria Steinem in Lovelace (Demi Moore is out given her troubles. I haven't followed it actually but there are problems, yes?)
Backstage Blogstage interviews Joyful Noise director Todd Graff on his habit of making musicals
Broadway Blog Did you know that Jessica Chastain and Michelle Williams once worked together? Now you do!

Flavorwire TV inspired nail art. Dexter! (sidenote: omg how bad was season six?)
College Candy super cute video of Melissa McCarthy freaking out about encounters with Brad & Angie and Meryl Streep
Carpetbagger talks to Oscar nominated cinematographer Jeff Cronenwerth (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). He met David Fincher on the set of Madonna's "Oh Father!"
Rope of Silicon a new very risque poster for Shame in its international release. 
Kenneth in the (212) enjoys Armie Hammer's mug shot a little too much.
24 Frames Brad Pitt is not one of the nominated producers of The Tree of Life, after all (it was "TBA") so only two Oscar nominations this year for Our Brad. 

Blooper Reel for The Artist anyone?

 

 

And because it's super annoying, but you might want to see it, I've added the 3D Avengers poster after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan202012

Podcast: One Last Golden Globe Gala!

You thought the Golden Globe festivities were over didn't you? Nope. There's one more left. It's time for the Film Experience Golden Globe Podcast. Katey, Nick, Joe and Nathaniel all met up for one last pre-Oscar nomination chat. We still don't agree on the movies but we all love the Globes unironically. It's always such a party for people who love celebrities and movies. We're sad it's over!

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the bottom of the post.

Topics include...

  • Crowd shots and nominee closeups.
  • Introducing... Katharine McPhee!
  • The unintentional eroticism of the DeMille Award
  • Leonardo DiCaprio's tipping point.
  • Johnny Depp, Original Song and other Unnecessaries
  • Seating charts, surprise marriages
  • Calista and Harrison... and Harrison's earrings. 
  • No sloppy Globe seconds for Oscar.
  • Uggie up to his old tricks
  • What will happen with The Help at SAG?
  • Viola Davis vs. Meryl Streep, the problematic narrative
  • Octavia Spencer and David Fincher
  • Brad vs. George and Mr CrankyPants Joe Reid
  • Goodbyes

We'd love to hear your takes on any of the issues discussed in the comments.
We do a lot of theorizing and questioning!

Giddy for the Globes

Wednesday
Dec142011

SAG Nominations: Surprising, Silly, Shame-less 

Regina King and Judy Greer announced the SAG nominees

Before we begin can I get something off my chest. You've possibly noticed that I always list actresses before actors when I do lists or my own awardage. Beyond my own actressexuality there is another reason for this. It galls me that they're listed second everywhere as if they're just slightly less important than actors. Now, you might say that's just a matter of alphabetics since "Actor" comes before "Actress" in correct alphabetization and that's true enough. But it's not only alphabetics, its our lazily sexist society. Please to note that SAG makes a point of calling all acting professionals "actors" without gender division and yet they do this and then STILL list men first even though "female" comes before "male" in correct alphabetization of category titles.

Grrrrr and also "girl!"

So women first when I list it because that's how we like it! 

MOVIES

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE 

  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Descendants
  • The Help
  • Midnight In Paris

These are strong nominees this year but as usual they left great actors out, even when their films were nominated.  Some comments on that problem in a separate post.

One theory of SAG ensemble voting is that actors vote for the movies that they wish they'd been in and that theory definitely holds up this year. All five of these sets must have been a blast when you think of the actors involved, the costumes, the color, the comedy (all five have comedic spirit even the two that are dramas).

 

 

 

It's also worth noting that this list is 80% identical to the BFCA list for ensemble. The only difference is you need to swap out Midnight in Paris for Ides of March. Still... it's clear that voters don't watch the more under the radar movies. I wish A Separation had opened a few months ago and built up to the acclaim it so deserves.

How fun would a win for Bridesmaids be as a ceremony capper? I demand a Wilson Phillips song be played when they take the stage should it occur.

COMPLETE LIST OF NOMINEES & MAJOR SURPRISES AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...