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Entries in Denzel Washington (19)

Saturday
Apr232016

YNMS: Magnificent Seven, Girl on the Train, Cafe Society

It's a triple trailer mini breakdown. Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So on these three pictures?

Girl on the Train Trailer

YES. Emily Blunt deserves a big hit and she's always so watchable. Also: How is Allison Janney always so perfect? It's one of the great mysteries of the universe. The supporting cast is filled with solid players: Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Lisa Kudrow.
NO. Seems like the kind of picture that will be ruined before it opens with spoilers
MAYBE SO. Tate Taylor directed The Help which is better than people give it credit for being. Can he handle the thriller genre? That's quite a different skill set.

Magnificent Seven Trailer

YES. Chris Pratt being adorable again. He really sells it in this trailer. Denzel is reliable... even when he isn't trying (though we always wish he would try). The other cast members get no time in this trailer but Peter Sarsgaard is the villain and he deserves a showy role again. Also we welcome more Byung-hun Lee in our lives.
NO. Guns. guns. guns. Hollywood is like its own gun lobby really. All guns all the time. I bet like 40% of all movie posters have guns on them or something.
MAYBE SO. Is it is good as the film its remaking The Magnificent Seven (1960) which was itself a remake of The Seven Samurai (1954)

Cafe Society Trailer

YES. Jeannie Berlin looks fun as Jesse Eisenberg's mom and the premise has so much potential. Also Parker Posey as a platinum blonde sarcastic writer? Yes please. 
NO. Mobsters and showbiz? Good luck living up to Bullets Over Broadway. Dangerous film to reference cuz it's so damn funny and Woody movies haven't been that funny since. 
MAYBE SO.  Jesse Eisenberg says he's "half bored half fascinated"... even if that's true of the movie that's a win for modern day Woody pictures. We'll take half fascination. I don't know what any actor can bring to the stock hooker part anymore but if there's anyone that can maybe Anna Camp?

Thursday
Mar242016

Looking Back, With Anger: Inside Man (2006)

Eric Blume here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Spike Lee's Inside Man, which remains his biggest box office hit. 

When this tightly-plotted bank heist movie was released a decade ago, it promised a heavenly trio of huge stars:  Denzel Washington, two time Oscar winner; Clive Owen, fresh off his first nomination for Closer; and Jodie Foster, coming off two solo box office successes (Panic Room and Flightplan).  A decade later, only Washington (the least interesting actor of that trio) still works with annual frequency in major pictures.  He lends effortless dynamism and charisma in his usual everyman role. Unfortunately its been lazy sailing for him ever since with one major exception (Flight).

Watching Inside Man again, it’s the loss of both Owen and Foster as regular cinema fixtures that burns, which is ironic since the film demands little from them. [More...]

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Tuesday
Feb162016

TV MVP of the Week: Younger, The Magicians, Grandfathered... 

I keep trying to get Team Experience to tell you what they're watching but they're weirdly shy about the small screen. But with the lines continually more blurred between screens we're trying to give television more room here. Nevertheless most of us do watch TV when we can squeeze it in between movies. 

Here's a few of our favorite things from the past week's viewing...

Patricia Field & Jacqueline Demetrio, Costume Design of Younger
Not since the glory days of Sex and the City has a show relied so beautifully on costumes (OK maybe Gossip Girl is up there, too) but in Younger they serve a purpose beyond aesthetics. Take for example the warrior-like costumes Miriam Shor's character wears, glittery armors, oversized jewelry and in one case a McQueen scarf that seemed to have the skulls of all her victims. That the very scarf was used by another character to reveal her weaknesses was pure brilliance.
-Jose Solis 

Gillian Anderson in The X-Files
We may quibble with the overall quality of this protracted sequel season of The X-Files but we should never complain about having more Gillian Anderson in our lives. [More...]

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Monday
Jan112016

Leo & Kate Rising. Plus Globe Darlings of Yore

Updated/Revised

While the Golden Globes are famous for not repeating themselves when it comes to TV honors (and thus earning our love because the world desperately needs the anti-Emmys). But this is not to say that they don't have favorite performers. The Globes, like every other awards body, have their personal pets, their default players, and their great loves. The names just don't totally line up with any other awards body... which is how it should be. Any awards group that seeks to share the same taste with another group (or predict it) would be immediately dismantled in a perfect awards world.

The Reunion. Why can't they make a movie together every 5 years or so?

We had a reminder last night of four performers who know Golden Globe Love biblically. They know its scent, its desperation, its passion, its tenderness, even its cool rebukes (well, not Jennifer Lawrence yet. So far it's all rose petals and til death do us part promises). Denzel Washington received his third Golden Globe (the Cecil B Demille), Jennifer Lawrence received her third consecutive Globe for working with David O. Russell. And those Titanic lovebirds Kate Winslet & Leonardo DiCaprio received their fourth and third Globe trophies respectively.

The single best bit of the night actually skewered our obsession with more and more that awards shows and statistical madness thrive on. Jim Carrey was killing it as he perpetually described himself as two time Golden-Globe winning actor Jim Carrey.

More...

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Saturday
Sep192015

Washington's August Wilson Deal

Manuel here with some big Denzel Washington news. While talking at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Washington revealed he has signed a deal with HBO to bring all ten of August Wilson’s plays to the screen. Yes, all ten!

More...

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Sunday
Sep282014

Denzel Still Rules The (Box Office) World. But Why No Artistic Risks?

Is there any movie star more consistent than Denzel? Pro: No matter what he makes, it opens big. Con: Maybe that's because he's just not a risk taker. He may be our least adventurous megastar.

TOP O' THE BOX OFFICE
1 EQUALIZER $35 million NEW
2 MAZE RUNNER $17.5 (cum. $58) Review
3 BOXTROLLS $17.2 million NEW best animation studio right now

On the stage he only appears in time-tested prestige pieces (Raisin in the Sun and August Wilson or Shakespeare plays). Onscreen he only makes two kinds of movies: disposable action thriller flicks & would-be prestige dramas. The Equalizer, adapted from a television series, is obviously one of the former. People won't remember he made it in a couple of years as a newer model surfaces to replace it. 

Washington hasn't altered this pattern in twenty years -- take a look for yourself if you don't believe me -- unless you count his curiousity about directing (both of his efforts were pitched towards awards gold but neither The Great Debaters nor Antwone Fisher won Oscar nominations). In the first decade or so of his stardom things were a teensy-bit rangier since the prestige pieces were sometimes full-fledged costume dramas (he doesn't do those anymore really) and the mainstream flicks were sometimes romantic (nix on that, too, nowadays). There were even one or two comedies (gasp)!

It'd be nice if he got the balance better. Many major stars try the '1 for them, 1 for me' approach to maintain both audience favor and critical ardor. But it's easy intead to imagine that Denzel Washington's preferred pattern of '5 for them, 1 for Oscar' might actually be a result of 'all for me'; maybe he just has extremely limited taste in movies? It wouldn't be the first time a bonafide superstar had no interest in cinema as art

Viola and Denzel in their 2010 Tony winning roles. The following year Viola won box office gold with The Help. But still no film version of FENCES.

Still as he tops the charts yet again with another violent man-fantasy, one wishes he would use his clout for good. Why isn't he using that financial and creative muscle to push important work to the screen? Couldn't he at least do the right thing in a completely self-serving way? Why not try for a third Oscar for Fences? Supposedly he's going to direct and star in it but things never seem to get moving towards actual filming and there've been rumors that he's doing it for roughly, oh, ever. Denzel and Viola Davis, his original co-star, who has more than earned another big screen big opportunity lead role after the box office / awards success of The Help, both won Tonys on stage. What's more it's positively insane that nobody ever adapts August Wilson's plays for the big screen. Viola has starred in three of them on Broadway, winning two Tonys in the process. Why isn't this a primary mission for the actor to get at least a few of them on the big screen - preferrably with Viola starring - since he has more money than God, they're important works in African American history, and he also produces now?! 

Denzel could get Fences done quickly if that's what he really cared about getting done. There is no way that the money wouldn't be there immediately if he said "sure I'll do that action movie. But Fences is what I'm doing next. And until I do it no more waving guns around for you!" There is nobody who isn't an idiot in Hollywood who would say no to helping him get it done with gazillions for more gunplay on the line the following fiscal year.

But back to the now ~ What did you see this weekend?

Tuesday
Aug192014

Tues Top Ten: Hottest Hotties of 1989

Here's abstew to continue our celebration of 1989 as the 'year of the month'. Happy 25th, 1989!

As we look back at 1989 in preparation for the Smackdown, it's important not to forget what the movies have always been about: really attractive people. The Me Decade of the 80's, perhaps the greatest/craziest time in regards to fashion and hairstyles, if they taught us anything at all, it isn't that less is more. Oh, no. More is MORE! More shoulder pads, more eye shadow, more crunchy perms with mall bangs. So let's celebrate the 80's excess with these cinematic hotties of 1989. 

Honorable Mention: Julia Roberts "Blush and Bashful Hottie", Daniel Day-Lewis "Method Actor Hottie", Meg Ryan "I'll Have What She's Having Hottie", Kenneth Branagh "New Shakespearian Hottie", Nicole Kidman "Just An Ozzie Girl On a Boat With Billy Zane Hottie"

10. Sean Connery

You Call This Archeology Hottie

Why Him: The once and eternally forever Bond star proved that even at the age of 59, he could still make the ladies swoon when he played Indiana Jones' father in the number one box office hit of 1989, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Romancing women half his age, and even managing to make a tweed travel suit and bow tie as sexy as one of Bond's tuxes, Connery like a fine aged wine, just got better with age.

Sexiest 1989 Moment: People magazine named the Scot The Sexiest Man Alive for its 1989 cover story. The headline hilariously reads, "Older, balder...and better! Here's one leading man who doesn't need to fake it." No word on exactly what other leading men were faking at the time. And apparently John Goodman was up for the title that year, so...yeah. People magazine - the nation's leading authority of unconventional sex appeal.

9. Rosie Perez
(and 8 more sexpots after the jump)

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