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Entries in Bourne (9)

Thursday
Apr212016

Yes No Maybe So: Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy. The Bourne Ultimatum. The Bourne Legacy. Miss Bourne If You're Nasty. Universal Pictures correctly assumes "You know his name" which is a brilliant tagline for the forthcoming fifth* entry in the franchise, titled Jason Bourne. In fact, it could well be a tagline for 60% of the franchises out there (the other 40% are led by concepts/groups, created "universes", or in YA dystopia cases >gasp< a young woman).

The question is are we excited to go another round with Matt Damon's leaping, punching, kicking, shooting, indestructable action man and the Oscar-nominated suits that are always trying to hunt him down? Let's find the answer together with our Yes No Maybe So game... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr192016

Newish Home Viewing: The Lady in the Van, The Oscar in the Franchises.

Here's what's new recently for your eyeballs.

Newish to DVD/BluRay
Fifty Shades of Black. Marlon Wayans sends up the Grey S&M movie.
The Force Awakens. Not available for rental yet but when it is we shall rewatch
The Forest. In which Natalie Dormer enters Japan's Suicide Forest to confront true terror: the reviews of Gus Van Sant's 'Sea of Trees' which is also set there.
Ip Man 3. For your completists. I haven't seen any of these since I figured The Grandmaster covered it for me. You?
The Lady in the Van. In which Maggie Smith gets grittier and descends the economic ladder for once. Maintain high society snobbier via her delusions of
Norm of the North. Animated. Though probably nothing we need worry about over here.
The Revenant. That which did rob George Miller of his rightful Best Director Oscar in February.

new to streaming
AJIN (S1) on Netflix. An anime sci-fi series about a teenager who realizes he is not human. Cue: suspenseful music, giant expressive eyes.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (S2) on Netflix. I haven't started yet due to travels. Can't wait to see my Jane Krakowski again. Tell me NOTHING. 
Mad Max on Amazon Prime. The original. Roughly 20 years before everyone realized Mel Gibson was also Mad.
Kong, King of the Apes (S1) on Netflix. This is a kids sci-fi series about Kong battling robot dinosaurs or some such. Has Netflix been doing kids series for awhile and we're just now noticing?
Tangerines on Amazon Prime. Not the awesome LA trans hooker comedy but the Estonian Oscar nominated drama.

A BURNING QUESTION: WHAT'S WITH OSCAR'S FRANCHISE FICKLENESS?
All the Bourne films (2002-2012 - 4 films thus far) and all the X-Men films (2000-2014 - five films thus far) have been reissued on DVD & BluRay for the obvious reason: new theatrical outing about to happen. This prompted head spinning when randomly thinking about their Oscar histories. Weirdly both series have been popular from the start with audiences but have just one film within them that Oscar responded to: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007, 3 Oscar noms/wins) and X-Men Days of Future Past (2012, 1 Oscar nomination).

Rehearsing a fight scene for Bourne Ultimatum. Photograph by Greg Williams

Isn't it fascinating how non-patterned Oscar is with franchises as a general rule? Sometimes they're not into them at all and then all of a sudden they are (those franchises and James Bond of course). Other times it's steady if halfhearted interest (superhero films in particular categories). Often it seems vaguely disconnected to the particulars of individual films. Consider this: Batman Forever is easily the Academy's second most all time favorite Batman film? WTF.  They've also been weirdly sporadic in Harry Potter love ignoring one of the best entries (Order of the Phoenix) that actually worked hard for an Art Direction nomination while rewarding the film that took place mostly in a tent (Deathly Hallows Part 1).

On the broad surface of things you'd think that Oscar voters, many of whom are ordinary working people who just happen to be in showbiz (like Emmy voters) would treat franchises the way that Emmy treats TV... which is all franchises. Not that we recommend this! With Emmy if they don't notice you at beginning they almost never do -- and they're loyal to the point of stupidity if they like you at all! Oscar doesn't really equate with that at all in ongoing narratives. What do you make of that? I ask because I'm not sure. I don't have all the answers!!! Is it just happenstance involving the every shifting competition in each calendar year at the movies?

Thursday
Mar032016

What next for our Oscar winners?

From Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars, Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux, Jamie Foxx in Stealth, to Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending, Oscar winners always ride the momentum of their award glory to the next prestige film. 

So what's next for our Oscar winners?

Leo finally won so he can crawl back into the bear (supermodel) cave (mansion) and never work again right? Unlikely, although he has absolutely nothing on his slate at the moment except for staring at his Oscar muttering "the way of the future... the way of the future....". I would genuinely love to see Leo in a movie where he plays a unlucky in love animal services employee who keeps stealing Kathryn Heigl's dog so he can give it back to her and appear the hero, that gets 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Lighten UP Leo! There are rumours of another Scorcese collaboration about a serial killer. Just the light material we're looking for.

Brie, Alicia, and Mark after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep092015

Good Morning, World

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here -- over at MNPP I do these posts pretty much every day that are titled "Good Morning, World" or some variation thereof (click here for some NSFW-ish examples) where we take a look at a moment of actorly exposure, morning-themed, in a movie. You know, something to wake us up, get us going, in the day. Well this morning I was just now staring at the first picture of Matt Damon on the set of the next Bourne movie, which just began shooting yesterday, and I felt incredibly bright and bushy-tailed, I tell ya what. So here's that!

 

Here's the sitch though: I have never seen a single Jason Bourne movie. Not one! Not even the one (ones?) with Joan Allen. I love Joan Allen. I adore and worship Joan Allen. So this post is two-fold: 1) Wowza look at Matt Damon (do you think him and Ben Affleck are in some War of the Pecs?), and 2) Yell at me to watch the Bourne movies... but give me some good reasons. Yes you can just say "Joan Allen," I will accept that answer.

Friday
Sep192014

Lukewarm Off Presses: Ben-Hur, Bourne-Again, Baz Junior?

Catching up with some stories we've missed of late.

BEN-HUR
Morgan Freeman was the first cast member announced for the remake of Best Picture winning Ben-Hur (1959) which was itself a remake of the silent epic of the same name in 1925.  Freeman will play the role of a wise old man who gives advice like a Pez Dispenser with Morgan Freeman's face on it. Can Morgan Freeman do anything else? Shame that a once very gifted actor now plays EXACTLY the same role in everything. Maybe he doesn't care to stretch? Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire fame (who seems to be in the running for everything these days -even if he hasn't booked the high profile stuff until now) will play the lead Charlton Heston role. But good luck trying to best William Wyler's Oscar winning classic (one of 'em rather). I shudder to think how they'll handle Messala, previously slyly interpreted by Stephen Boyd on the DL.

BOURNE AGAIN
In a weird case of "WAIT. I changed my mind!" Matt Damon is getting back into the Bourne franchise along with previous director Paul Greengrass (who is also possibly doing an Olympics bombing true story movie) and delaying Jeremy Renner's already begun takeover. The same thing happened with Jeremy Renner's assumed takeover of the Mission Impossible franchise until Cruise wanted back in. This will and already has prompted think pieces on Jeremy's failure to become a star but nobody would be griping on him if his agent (and maybe the man himself) hadn't gotten so greedy. How many franchises does one actor need?(Bourne, MI, Witch Hunters, Avengers, etcetera) Especially an actor that good with two Oscar nominations already?

But if we're going to start interrupting reboots with original casts, can we shelve the next Amazing Spider-Man movies and just get Tobey Maguire back in tights? P-L-E-A-S-E. That'd free up Andrew Garfield to be a real actor again and to say "you better lawyer up asshole" if they drop his surely unending contract. 

BAZ JR
I don't mean to be snarky about newbie director Diesel Schwarze, a Baz Luhrmann protege, because it's quite possible that he'll be his own brilliant artist. But I needed another "B" for alliterative blogging, what. SO, anyway, he's doing an original musical that uses pre-existing songs (a la Moulin Rouge!) called Ziggy and Dane DeHaan and Rooney Mara are earmarked to star in it. Can they sing? It's not quite Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman exciting even in terms of in context 2014 vs 2000 stardom levels at press release time, but it's still interesting. Especially since it sounds weird...

Dehaan will play a hunchback in NYC who falls for a beautiful woman already mixed up with a powerful man -- you know how singing hunchbacks do!

Sunday
Aug122012

Box Office Quickie: Meryl Streep, The Right Choice

Remember that glorious bit on the sitcom Modern Family where Cameron sang the praises of Meryl Streep?

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice from Kristian Møller Jørgensen on Vimeo.

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice."

I kept thinking about that this weekend when Hope Springs hit theaters competing with all these new releases. Could Streep play a genetically mutated super spy like Renner? Could Streep play Catwoman as well as Hathaway? Could Streep play a disaster seeking political office like...Oh wait, that was last year. Whatever, one thinks of her range, she is a box office star as the opening weekend of Hope Springs indicates. Sure 4th place isn't great but when you stop to remember that it's a movie about senior citizens struggling with sexual intimacy than 4th place is basically 5 consecutive weeks at number one.

The Bourne Legacy's terrific opening weekend is interesting. Does this mean you don't need Matt Damon or that even just the memory of Matt Damon is bankable?

Top o' the Box Office To You
01 new THE BOURNE LEGACY $40.2 
02 new THE CAMPAIGN $27.4 
03 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $19.5 (Cum. $390.1) Review
04 new HOPE SPRINGS  $15.6 Oscar Prospects?
05 DIARY OF AN ANNOYING FRANCHISE PT. 2 $8.2 (Cum. $30.5)
06 TOTAL RECALL $8.1 (Cum. $44.1) Review

Jeremy, Rachel, Meryl and Anne race away with the box office

Other box office notes of...uh...note:
Total Recall
took a disastrous 68 percent drop in its second weekend suggesting that it probably won't earn back even half of its budget in domestic release;  Brave continues to climb the Pixar charts having just passed WALL•E with Cars in its sights next; After seven weeks Beasts of the Southern Wild appears to have finally hit the wall and will now descend *sniffle*. (It's done very well for itself but I was hoping we'd see braver moviegoers embrace it in larger numbers. It's always worth hoping that the general public will get a little more adventurous in their moviegoing... I mean THIS is available to them and they still want reheated superhero leftovers?); Farewell My Queen, my pet cause, has been inching towards the magic $1 million mark at the arthouse but I worry it'll fall short now... it'll need a couple more weeks to get there and those might be hard to come by.

Finally, Ruby Sparks couldn't drum up much interest in a big expansion so it's not much longer for this world... I have the guilt about not seeing this. I must go this week! Must you? 

Friday
Jan202012

Scene Work: Corey Stoll On Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen

With the SAG Awards fast approaching, Oscar nominations hitting on Tuesday and "Original Screenplay" wins and Best Director nominations piling up for Woody Allen how about a little trip back to Midnight In Paris? Specifically to that magical hour when all of the movie's best moments take place. On the first of Gil's (Owen Wilson) midnight adventures he meets the Fitzgeralds who then introduce him to Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). This introduction -- Stoll pisses off the Fitzgeralds (on purpose) and then badgers and ingratiates himself with Gil, who is reeling from meeting his hero. It's one of the movie's most memorable scenes and Corey Stoll immediately establishes himself as the film's MVP despite a plethora of famous actors in showy cameos.

If you're a writer, declare yourself the best writer! But you're not as long as I'm around unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it."
-Stoll as Hemingway. 

This introduction was also, not so surprisingly, the rising actor's most satisfying scene to shoot. When I spoke to him in December about that bizarre SAG rule which prevented him from technically being part of the movie's Best Ensemble nomination, we discussed this introduction in particular and his working relationship with comeback kid Woody Allen.

"That's the scene I was most nervous about," the actor recalls about his memorable introduction. He loved how 'commanding and unapologetically self-centered' this fictionalized Heminway was. "It's actually the scene where Woody let me do a number of takes. I think often he just lets actors find it themselves. They either find it immediately or not and he still moves on."

He recounts the speed at which Woody works. He doesn't want the actors to obsess too much on the work and wants to keep things more spontaneous. "With this I lucked out. At a certain point after my final take of the closeup he said 'that's 100% what I was looking for'."

I can't help but register surprise that Allen spoke to him at all. You hear stories. His funny response:

That was the only praise that I heard the entire time! He's not big on ass-kissing."
-Stoll on Woody Allen 

Amusingly enough, Allen's purposeful steering of the actors away from actual biography towards communal fantasies presented a slight obstacle for Stoll after the fact. "I've sort of been asked a lot of questions about Hemingway." When he did a public reading of Hemingway's letters he worried that he'd be "a bit of a fraud" in front of scholars. "I knew the basics of his life," the actor says about the famous author, but that isn't what he used, creatively, for the performance.  "What was most important in this context was having his rhythm and cadence and his use of language be the driving force of the performance. As a reader that's what you get.  That's where I put my energy and attention."

The work paid off and the actors career is on the upswing. "All this attention and praise is really nice," he confesses. "But the role itself is so much more satisfying. Whatever happens, I played Ernest Hemingway in a Woody Allen movie!"

Two Stoll Roles: North Country with Charlize Theron. Intimate Apparel with Viola Davis

Currently Stoll is enjoying running into old co-stars on the awards circuit including Charlize Theron (North Country). His "Intimate Apparel" stage partner Viola Davis is also on the campaign trail this year. Would he like to reprise that for a film? "Any day. Any time. Wonderful experience." He's up for Best Supporting Actor next month at the Spirit Awards and one can't help but pray that he'll be a shock surprise on Oscar Nomination morning this year in the same category.

Before we wrap up, I had to ask him about his role in the upcoming summer blockbuster Bourne Legacy opposite Jeremy Renner, also a former co-star

"Please don't tell me you're playing a villain, " I say sharing with him one of my major movie pet peeves. "They always make bald men villains!"

"I can't tell you anything," Stoll says laughing. "I'm contractually obligated! They weren't specific about how they were going to ruin me but there's nothing to be gained."

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