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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Hugh Jackman (62)


Link Long and Prosper

In the blog explosion that is Oscar night (both build up to and come down from) we end up missing LOTS of stories. Like saying goodbye to Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) better known as Mr Spock. So let's kick off today's collection of news, casting notices, and randomness with the Vulcan 

NY Times on Leonard Nimoy's career which extended well beyond Spock. 
Space astronauts say goodbye from space 
R Michelson Galleries several collections of Nimoy's photography, he favored black and white nudes, are featured here 

News & Miscellania
Guardian thinks the blockbuster genre is in trouble in 3...2...1...
Blackbook Oscar Isaac breaks out some dance moves in Ex Machina -- which makes me so sad that he has no interest whatsoever in musicals
TFE ...which he told me in our interview here. 
Vanity Fair Bobby Finger synopsis future installments of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This franchise will live forever!
Playbill Bruce Willis and Elizabeth Marvel taking the James Caan and Kathy Bates roles for Misery on the Broadway stage. Good luck with that
In Contention Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden
EW Diablo Cody to pen a live action Barbie movie. I could see that working as a comedy. But did Toy Story 3 say all there was to say?
Coming Soon Ridley Scott's company developing a franchise for Flashman based on a novel about a Victorian soldier. Scott is 77 and his list of upcoming projects is insane - how long is he planning to live exactly?
Deadline shares a list of the top "actors" on social media. This is why we can't have nice things
i09 will Battle Cat in the He-Man movie look like this?  I forgot there was a He-Man movie coming. Can "Dom" from Looking star in it? He was modelling those looks already.

More Miscellania
Film Otaku now that two of the self-proclaimed 'Three Amigos!' have won Best Director will the third, Guillermo del Toro, be next?
Awards Daily will we see Sir Ian McKellen get a best actor shot with Mr. Holmes
Queerty oops. Russell Tovey (Being Human, Looking) is putting his foot in his mouth about "masculinity" 
HuffPost Gay Voices Noah Michelson writes a passionate personal response. A Must Read.
The Buckley Bulletin goes deep on A Place in the Sun. This is an old essay but if you love that movie it's a must-read. I had a really fun conversation about that George Stevens classic yesterday on Twitter 

Hugh Jackman from Instagram this morning. Which begs the question of how often he gets one. 


Like that's going to happen!

A photo posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on Mar 5, 2015 at 3:46am PST




Last Pre-Oscar Link Roundup!

Best Picture & Oscar Mania
Nicks Flick Picks preferences and predictions
Variety how to watch the Oscars online
Salon on the Birdman vs Boyhood battle for Hollywood's soul
Guardian on Ida and Leviathan's troubles at home as they head to the Foreign Film Oscar decision
NY Post goes out on a clickbait limb and predicts American Sniper for the Best Picture win
Disqus on which Best Pictures people are talking about in which states. Chart and graph madness!
Slant Eric Henderson has finally convinced me that Birdman is winning Sunday night. I don't know why I've been so resistant to that idea? It just seems way too experimental and funny and weird to me to think of it as a Best Picture winner but I guess I have to adjust my thinking.
Slate how to accept an Oscar properly 
In Contention on the dead heat for Best Director 

Our Final Predictions Podcast
Category Overview Towleroad Article
Film Bitch Awards Oscar Correlative Ballot ~ Nathaniel's Votes 

Meet the Movie Press
I guest-starred on this show yesterday (I come in at about 24 minutes but I'm sad I missed the discussion of Alien cuz I love me that slimy acid-blood franchise) just as I was crashing into miserable sickness. Good timing. You can watch it right here. Thanks to the @theinsneider and for having me on. We discuss Oscar predictions.

Off Oscar Miscellania
Pajiba 10 movies John Cusack's made recently that you've never heard of. Pajiba's Cusack obsession is always fun
Coming Soon Birdman has convinced Hugh Jackman that he should keep playing Wolverine until he dies. Say what?
/Film Scarlett Johansson will star in The Psychopath Test. The synopsis (very lengthy) suggests two major male characters so I'm not sure who she'll play. Perhaps the psychologist that gets the plot rolling before the men take over?
/Film Wonder Woman to shoot in the fall
The Film Stage Tom Ford finally has his follow up to A Single Man (2009) lined up or his follow-ups really. Continuing Hollywood's most hateful trend it's said to be a two-part film. Movie people stop. You are not television. The mediums are for different things and TV is where the longform stories are supposed to go. If you want to tell a long story that's where you belong. (People hated me for hating that movie but I'm eager to see his next because he does have an eye.)



Lukewarm Off The Presses: Hugh & Amy's Musicals, Diana's Director, Lee's Horror, & Eddie's Operation

Five stories we didn't share in all the hulaballoo of our trip to Los Angeles, the recovery week's madness and now our Thanksgiving prep. Can't let these stories go unremarked upon since many of them are related to this year's Oscar race as well as 2015 and possibly 2016. Let's get ahead of ourselves! 

Barnum by way of Jackson / Amy to play Janis

1. Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum
When I was coming out of Into the Woods the other day and coming out of The Last Five Years back in Toronto, I was wracked with indecision about how I felt. My cinephile self was mounting a civil war with my inner musical theater geek who is deeply devoted to both shows. The former musical is among my top 3 favorite Sondheim shows (the others being Company & Follies) and the latter is literally my favorite original musical of the 21st century to date. The solution to this inner turmoil is surely ORIGINAL SCREEN MUSICALS. We haven't had one since Dancer in the Dark, right? So I'm absolutely excited to see Hugh Jackman belt out whatever tunes they're writing for him as P.T. Barnum in a new musical biopic about the circus pioneer called The Greatest Showman on Earth. Having seen Jackman absolutely slay audiences on Broadway as another flamboyant showman (Peter Allen in "The Boy from Oz"), this could be his Oscar ticket if the movie is good. The songs are by a composing duo you know from "Smash" but before you get too excited it's not from the composers behind the fictional musical "Bombshell," damnit!, but the composers behind the fictional musical "Hit List" which wasn't half as good. (Sigh)

Bette Midler as Janis Joplin (sort of) in The Rose (1979)2. Amy Adams as Janis Joplin
Should Adams be nominated (maybe) and lose (definitely) the Best Actress Oscar for Big Eyes this season she will join the "Biggest Actress Loser Club" that is currently a three-person tea party with Thelma Ritter, Glenn Close, Deborah Kerr. Fine company, don't you think? The solution is UNDOUBTEDLY a Janis Joplin biopic since Amy Adams has a great singing voice, considerable awards momentum, and is still young enough to be interesting to Oscar... for at least another few years. We're far enough away from Bette Midler's wildly acclaimed take on that iconic musician (by another name) in The Rose (1979) that the earlier Oscar run won't be an issue either. [More after the jump...]

Click to read more ...


Yes No Maybe So: Chappie

Manuel here to play our favorite trailer watching game.

Is it safe to say that of the 47 films to have been nominated for Best Picture ever since the category's expansion, District 9 remains the oddest, with its sci-fi concept, low-tech execution and lack of big name recognition? Neill Blomkamp and Sharlto Copley followed that up with Elysium which very few of us have thought about since it came out. They’re re-teamed for Chappie which, well, I’ll just give you the synopsis:

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings - some good, some bad - and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there's one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

They’ve both lost me already; wanna see whether the trailer won me back? Herewith, a special YES/NO/MAYBE SO assessment of this trailer via all of the films it made me think of as I was watching it:


- Chappie’s character design is enough of a riff on known commodities (C3PO, Short Circuit, 80s Robot) without feeling derivative. I particularly love the ears/antenna.
- I'm fascinated by the fact that Copley is (to my knowledge) not playing Chappie via motion capture a la Serkis, but rather in a more rudimentary fashion ("they're animating over my movements," he notes). That might make for an interesting approach; and might give us an interesting Copley performance.
- I love the POV shot from inside Chappie’s head (is he also looking for Sarah Connor?)
- That He-Man cameo is pretty awesome.
- District 9 still holds enough goodwill for me to give this a tentative yes.
- IMDB informs me that Sigourney Weaver is in this which YES! but…


- ...were we just denied a Weaver sighting and is that enough for me to notch a NO? Yes and yes.
- All those explosions towards the end reminded me of Elysium (and every other action film ever made).
- Hugh Jackman + Robots = Real Steel flashbacks.
- “A.I. is unpredictable” immediately made me think of Transcendence (and of Rebecca Hall’s career; anyone have any news? Will she be given a non-thankless role soon?).
- Artificial Intelligence is a fascinating topic, but why must paranoia be pit against government involvement? Why must it always lead to things exploding and people getting shot? 
- “One machine’s journey… to become his own man,” Can we talk about this tag-line? Is Chappie secretly Kal-El? Must newly sentient beings always be framed within a masculinist view of progress? Suddenly the He-Man cameo feels less awesome. Add in a "girl in danger in need of being saved" shot and this needlessly testosterone-fueled trailer is ticking all my "No" boxes.
- The "You taught me so much more" line had me eye-rolling (Might as well be “I’m just a guy, in front of his robot…”).
- The overall design and aesthetic seems particularly reminiscent of District 9 if a bit more playful and colorful (are we in a pseudo-Eastern European dystopia with a dash of punk-rock?), but there’s very little that pops in this trailer for me (give or take a bad Jackman haircut).


- That moment with the carton of milk.
- You’ll notice this from the images above, but I think there might something else going on this film despite its ho-hum, by-the-numbers trailer (with its run-of-the-mill soundtrack, flashing title cards and kaboom! ending) and it falls more in line with the fish-out-of-water humor Disney just used to promote Baymax in Big Hero 6 and which successfully launched WALL-E as an adorably Streisand obsessed curious robot.
- The insistence of seeing Chappie as a “child” seems to be aiming for a type of Lilo & Stitch (“Do you know what a black sheep is?”) and E.T. (“You’re name is… Chappie!”) dynamic. Might this be the type of film Blomkamp and Copley have in store for us? The poster is definitely more family friendly than the film this trailer is selling.

Watch and judge for yourself:

I must say I fall in the "No, thank you, I'll pass, wake me up if we were somehow duped by this subpar trailer" camp.  I don't want to ask whether this film will break new ground (good or even entertaining films need not do that) but I can't quite stomach the tried-and-true uplifting human spirit in a non-human vessel that'll lead to bullets and sacrifice vibe I'm getting. Disagree? Do we think Copley & Blomkamp have another surprise hit in their robotic hands?


Hugh Jackman Math



Tony Award Winners

Did you watch the Tony Awards last night? The evening began with Hugh Jackman proving his physical fitness -- his knees get such a workout -- by hopping through his entire continuous shot production number, basically a tour of the backstage and upcoming performers in costume.

That led to a night of high energy but strange and touristy musical number choices like numbers from ancient top-selling shows (Les Miz and Wicked) rather than new ones that need the sales help and non-Broadway celebrities like Sting and Jennifer Hudson taking up a lot of room to sell shows that aren't even open. It'd be a bit like the Oscars going "how about Interstellar?" while giving prizes to Gravity back in March. 

Hugh Jackman also rapped with LL Cool Jr via the famously chatty opening number of "The Music Man" Hugh Jackman has now spent 14 years of his career playing Wolverine and at this point he's really wasting his life (I mean once you have 100s of millions, what's 20 million more?). He needs to commit and make only movie musicals before he's too old.  

Highlights and winners of the night after the jump...

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X-Men Movie: Shades of Future Franchise Past

[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. -  Nathaniel]

Daniel Cudmore as Colossus and Fan Bingbing as Blink

The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.

In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels.  But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it? 

Click to read more ...