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Entries in Idris Elba (7)


Beasts of No Nation Character Posters

Another day, another fall movie releases a poster. Murtada here with the details. 

Following the Beasts of No Nation trailer, the character posters for the African war drama have arrived. The trailer told us a lot about the film by introducing its two main characters - played by Idris Elba and newcomer Abraham Atta - and the hypnotic dynamic between them in one brief scene. The striking but simple posters continue the efficient storytelling and with just a few pictures and words tell us all we need to know. For now...


Click to read more ...


Avengers... and Saint Laurent? Round Two

Don't judge but I went to see Age of Ultron again. I picked the earliest show of the day on a weekday in a neighborhood theater that is generally empty for early showings because I wanted to see it free of mass frenzy / noise and a seat far away from the screen - completely different than last time. But get this. I walk in to a jam-packed theater and I spy like one empty seat way back 'guess I'll sit there,' Only to be stopped by a woman who tells me that this is a field trip for the high school and ALL of these seats are taken.

A HIGH SCHOOL FIELD TRIP ... TO SEE A SUPERHERO MOVIE. Who do I call about where my NYC tax dollars are going? How is this educational unless this is a business school and the students are studying Marvel's world-domination tactics?  (The only movies I got to see on field trips in high school were French ones for French class.)

May 8-10 Weekend
01 Avengers: Age of Ultron $77 (cum. $312.5) Review & Marathon & Podcast
02 Hot Pursuit $13.3 NEW Review
03 Age of Adaline $5.6 (cum. $31.5)
04 Furious 7 $5.2 (cum. $338.4) Review
05 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5.1 (cum. $58)
06 Ex-Machina $3.4 (cum. $15.7) Review
07 Home $3 (cum. $162.1) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
08 Woman in Gold $1.6 (cum. $26.9) 
09 Cinderella $1.5 (cum. $196.1) Review
10 Unfriended $1.4 (cum. $30.9) 

Five More New Releases
The D Train $.4 (1004 screens) Review
5 Flights Up $.2 (87 screens) 
Noble $.2 (175 screens)
Maggie $.1 (79 screens) Review
Saint Laurent $.03 (4 screens) Review

For what it's worth, despite a shitty seat and lots of noise and cel phone activity in the theater (argh) the movie was more enjoyable this time around after expectations had settled reasonably. Expectations are like that floating city, in this cumbersome analogy comin'atchawatch out!, in that the higher they rise the more billions of people die when they crash back down to earth unless Iron Man

... I lost the thread.

In fact, I was almost agog at how elegant Joss Whedon could make such a cumbersome thing. Which is to say that it's about as graceful as something this gangly and multi-limbed could hope to be on the day it's first learning to walk if you know what I mean. Should you ever see it again, clock how many disparate agendas the screenplay and direction is asked to address in virtually every scene and you suddenly won't be as bitchy about this "disappointment". The second time around the Scarlet Witch's arc is much stronger since the plot clutter dissipates but the Thor digression is still a f***ing mess and though the trip to Hawkeye's "safe house" is a much needed breather it's way too long, losing the action-packed momentum. And it doesn't help that the scene to rev you back up, the hijacking of "the cradle," is the weakest action setpiece.

Meanwhile in Limited Release
Saint Laurent, France's Oscar submission from last year, finally opened this weekend, too. It occurred to me the other day that in the rush of Oscar campaign madness last season (and two very fun trips to LA) I never shared the story about the time I went to that French party in Saint Laurent's honor.

Here I am speaking to Gaspard Ulliel, probably about his penis.

Well it does have a glorified star cameo in the movie!

He was actually quite chatty and for all my significant qualms about the movies length and its last half hour when we jump forward to Yves Saint Laurent as an old man (and lose Gaspard in the process), he's terrific in the movie and it's quite memorable (the movie I mean -- get your minds out of the gutter). I still remember certain brilliant sequences vividly. Anyway, I would have mentioned this much sooner but distributors like to strike when the iron is cool and it's just now hitting theaters. The highlight of this party was meeting Brenda Vaccaro and Jacqueline Bissett - they were freaking hilarious (which I was not expecting) and teasing each other about recently meeting Idris Elba (at a different event). My point is this: I'm now desperate to see them in a buddy comedy.

Sadly I lost my phone in LA and with it many notes about these tiny celebrity run-ins. *sniffle*

But let's get back to the present tense. I saw Age of Ultron and a few eppys of Grace and Frankie and otherwise I played with friends who were visiting from out of town.

What did you see this weekend?


Box Office Report - No Good Dolphin Tale

Margaret here, back to report on another quiet weekend at the box office. Powered by the considerable force of charisma that Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson supply, home-invasion thriller No Good Deed topped the box office with close to 25 million. In second place is the family film Dolphin Tale 2, which took in decent dollars despite an aggressively bland marketing campaign and the fact that the first one was barely a hit. Guardians of the Galaxy dropped only 22% to third place, and is now the first movie since Frozen to pass $300 million domestically. The Year of Chris Pratt continues.


01 NO GOOD DEED $24.5 *new*
02 DOLPHIN TALE 2 $16.6 *new*
03 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $8.0 (cum. $305.9)  Review
04 ...NINJA TURTLES $4.8 (cum. $181.0) remember the animated one?
05 LET'S BE COPS $4.3 (cum. $72.9)
06 THE DROP $4.2 *new*

The stealth success story here is Let's Be Cops, which, despite abysmal reviews and release in one of the worst cultural climates for an irresponsible-cop-comedy, is limping towards $75 million and a significant profit margin thanks to weak competition and a shoestring budget.

On the limited side, Dennis Lehane-penned crime drama The Drop outstripped its projected haul with $4.2 million from less than 1,000 screens. Such is the magnetic pull of a scruffy Tom Hardy snuggling a pit bull puppy, to say nothing of the chance to see James Gandolfini's final performance. 

Other notable limited releases include the Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig tragicomedy The Skeleton Twins, which brought in an impressive per-screen average and is well on its way to crossing the important indie-film benchmark of $1 million, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, which is getting an unenthusiastic critical response and middling ticket sales. Perhaps audiences are holding out for the Him and Her twofer instead.

Now that we've hit mid-September there are finally some festival hits and critical darlings trickling out into theaters (which admittedly mostly serves those of us in the country's three or four largest cities). I saw The Drop, in which Tom Hardy was absolutely wonderful and Dennis Lehane was entirely Dennis Lehane. What did you see in theaters this weekend?  Are any of you at festivals getting sneak peeks at TFE's most anticipated? Who wants to talk about Tom Hardy's mesmerizing Brooklyn accent or that baby pit bull?



TV Blend Mad Men Season 7 key art features a famous graphic designer - April 13th, y'all
My New Plaid Pants first pic of Dane Dehaan as James Dean in yet another bio of the actor
/Film gross... the proposed reboot of Zorro is going to be Dark Knight-esque. Good god, Hollywood, be smarter. Anyone interested in Zorro, its own brand which is why you're rebooting it, is going to expect light swashbuckling FUN.  

New Now Next Teen Wolf adding a third gay character for season 4. (Weird that they haven't expanded the opening credits sequence to feature the other regulars from the ever expanding show.)
Towleroad RuPaul teaches his Pit Crew to "Sissy That Walk"
Guardian Idris Elba providing the voice of Shere Khan in the new live action/CGI Jungle Book
Fashionista costume designer extraordinaire Janie Bryant on what's next for her after Mad Men wraps
i09 on 30 cult movies everyone should see once. I love this type of list except for when they put something totally mainstream on it. It's mostly solid until Lost Boys? nope. try again. Saw it in theaters opening weekend, had a major release not cult at all but standard grab for teen audience. I think it was even a minor hit.
Gawker Lindsay Lohan already complaining about her reality show's portrait of her 
Attitude Jamie Lee Curtis, suddenly busy again, in addition that pilot she's shooting is producing a biopic film about a gay baseball player 
/bent has a handy list of all the LGBT filmmakers on twitter. Follow! 

This is what Glenn Close was wearing underneath her long dress! She wins.Oscar Crumbs
... the internet is still sweeping up the party
Confabulations Brian (StinkyLulu) and Aaron discuss the Oscars
Gothamist Poor Leo. Now his 1990s teen self is appearing all over Manhattan 
My Space you must read this hilarious Oscar report from Jennifer Lawrence's bestie. 

❝I am one of maybe two non-famous people there. I kind of just sit there and smile creepily when someone catches me staring—shout out to Penelope Cruz.❞

wimp a pretty amazing video of the control room during an acceptance speech (Cuba Gooding Jr's in this case)... and this reminds me how glad we are that they didn't play people off this year
Guardian oh, so that's why Andrew Garfield wasn't at the Oscars! 
Dissolve on social media and the Oscars 
Slate really fun conversation about sexism and actress backlashes that's focused on Gwynnie, Hathaway, and the recent success of Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o 

Today's Watch
This video from the Oscars official account is titled in such a way that you think it's going to be a history of Best Actress but it's just about Oscar with famous Actresses educating you on the history of AMPAS: Katharine Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, a brunette Grace Kelly (!!!) and Anne Bancroft who wins with a little winking trivia about Oscar gaining weight. 


Vanity Fair 2014 "The Hollywood Issue" (Part 1)

Ah, our favorite magazine tradition. Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood Issue is upon us and the dozen stars selected they've selected are very carefully placed (they've read their own reviews). Instead of an all white lineup with a person of color shoved onto the back fold, this is an extremely careful, as if everything has been weighed on a scale: 12 actors, exactly equally split between both men and women, and skin color.

Of course both of those 50/50 visual situations are grossly unreflective of the actual business of Hollywood movies but we're not here to complain but to praise, it's fun to see the cover shaken up ever so slightly. If we were here to complain we'd probably say something about the lack of Asian actors (they never get their due here in America) but no one has ever asked The Film Experience to guest art-direct a cover. 

If they did ask me I would pitch things that wouldn't move copies (which is reason #203 why no one would ever ask me) but which would definitely be fun one-offs: An all senior lineup (Dernsy!, Shirley and all the Dames), an all instantly recognizable supporting/character actor lineup (Like... I dunno Margo Martindale, John Goodman, Jacki Weaver on the cover with Judy Greer sprawled out on the floor on the gatefold with Celia Weston and Bob Balaban and Irrfan Khan behind her... I could go on and on. Someone stop me). An all foreign language imported legends lineup (Bardem, Binoche, Leung, Deneuve, Loren, etcetera), and my personal ultimate fantasy cover, which we'd call "always a bridesmaid" devoted to people who always lose the Oscars they're up for: Amy Adams, Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Annette Bening, Sigourney Weaver, Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Marsha Mason, Jane Alexander, and Joan Allen. GOOD LUCK DECIDING WHO GETS THE ACTUAL COVER ON THAT FOLDOUT LINEUP OF TWELVE!

In other words I wouldn't go with people who are always on magazine covers like Julia Roberts and George Clooney. But enough about fantasies. On to reality.  Let's take a closer look, starting with the actual cover

Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor whose film debut was in Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), is finally getting his due after steadily-rising film work. That's thanks to his incredibly haunted and well judged work in 12 Years a Slave. But we've loved him since Serenity (2005... which incidentally also featured his 12 Years co-star Sarah Paulson) in which his screen presence was impossible to deny.
Stats: 25 Films. 36 Years Old. 1 Oscar Nomination.
Previous Essentials: Dirty Pretty Things, Talk To Me, Children of Men
Next Up for Chiwetel: Z for Zachariah, a sci-fi drama with Margot Robbie (also on this cover) and Chris Pine

Julia Roberts, "America's (Former) Sweetheart", is Oscar resurgent for her "Supporting" [cough] role in August: Osage County wherein she swiped 'Best in Show' reviews from Meryl Streep. Of all the stars gathered for this cover she looks the happiest to be there. But wouldn't you if you were sitting on Idris Elba's lap? 
Stats: 41 Films. 46 Years Old. 4 Oscar Nominations, 1 win.
Previous Essentials: Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, Erin Brockovich
Next Up for Julia: She's doing Ellen Barkin's angry screaming doctor/Tony winning role in the TV adaptation of the seminal AIDS play The Normal Heart 

Idris Elba, another British import, recently headlined Mandela which won him a Golden Globe nomination, his fourth. After two major critically acclaimed successes on television, he's on many a casting director's list for the movies. 
Stats: 24 Films + A Lot of Television. 41 Years Old. Not Yet Oscar-Nominated. 
Previous Essentials: Luther (TV Series), The Wire (TV Series) 
Next Up For Idris: Three movies in the can coming soon which are No Good Deed, a thriller with Taraji P Henson, The Gunman, a crime drama with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, and Second Coming a British family drama

George Clooney, who surely needs no recapping as to his profile. Though, as great as he looks in a tux, I was hoping for a fresher choice of a cover subject since he's been so ubiquitous for so long.
Stats: 36ish(?) Films and Lots of TV, 52 Years Old. 8 Oscar Nominations (Directing/Acting/Producing/Writing), 2 wins (Producing/Acting)
Previous Essentials: Out of Sight, Oceans 11, Good Night and Good Luck, Up in the Air
Next Up for Clooney: Monuments Men which he directed and stars in, is about to open, which probably explains the cover. In 2015 he headlines Brad Bird's Disney scifi film Tomorrowland about a former boy-genius inventor.

Do you like the new cover? Here's PART TWO of the closeup breakdown



The Link Is Not Yet Rated

Vulture features a fascinating memoir about a troubled 70s childhood and the not-optimistic catharsis of TV's 70s superhero show The Incredible Hulk
Awards Daily Sasha never misses a beat with director David Fincher and his new muse Rooney Mara. Have you seen their Calvin Klein ad? What's most shocking about the ad (to me) is that Rooney SMILES in it. Can you imagine? Not the smiling sort at the cinema, you know.
Variety Halle Berry developing an indie comedy called Mother. Her frequent producer is directing but his filmography is suspect!

Zap2It "Giant Colin Firth statue emerges from lake in London's Hyde Park" a most clickable headline, don't you agree?
Awards Circuit wonders where we're not looking for Oscar contenders for this year's race. Any under the radar guesses?
Salon's description of US Weekly in this article about their "zoom-in" interactivity with paparazzi photos of Angelina Jolie's cleavage made me LOL
My New Plaid Pants "do, dump or marry" with the men of Pacific Rim: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnan and Rob Kazinsky
Salon speaks about and to Guillermo del Toro as Pacific Rim, his first film in 5 years if you can believe it given how ubiquitous his name has been in that time frame, nears release

Finally have you heard that Los Angeles banned this Project Runway ad from appearing on billboards? I don't get it.

This nudity is so safe. This is only side cheek nudity. The models aren't even in sexually suggestive poses. But hey, Project Runway has got to do something to get people talking now that it's 12 seasons old. (I hated "TEAMS" so much, I can't even. It really turned me against the show). I think this would have been a much braver funnier and more successful ad if they had all of the new contestants naked and worshipping the hosts. It would have also been more controversial since imperfect regular-person bodies really alarm people. Partially because you don't see them in the media very often. But, tell me, why was this ad banned? I've seen much worse on public display. I didn't even feel the need to hide it "after the jump". But sex, like violence, is a terribly inconsistent thing when it comes to public policy and censorship. TV has adopted film's extremely forgiving and casual relationship with violence now (they'll regularly show things you couldn't see in an anything other than an R rated movie just a couple of decades ago) and I can't any longer get a hold on what you can or can't say in terms of profanity on the small screen. But sex -- it's always sex -- still manages to get people flustered and "that's obscene!" even when it isn't. A few nights ago while channel surfing I chanced upon some sort of reality show wherein the contestants were dropped naked onto deserted islands - like an "Extreme!" riff on Survivor. They even had "Naked"  in the title. And the nakedness was blurred out.



My New Plaid Pants "13 Whores of Halloween" a fun countdown of film characters: "Jules" from Cabin in the Woods, "Lucy" from Bram Stoker's Dracula and 11 more!
Star Ledger movies as political propaganda: Won't Back Down, 2016: Obama's America, and more
Pajiba a shirtless link roundup. Why haven't I thought of this? On a content related note: I hadn't heard that Ryan Gosling has left Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run remake. Sad face. But I guess Ryan Gosling, who is 31 going on 32, would already be dead by Logan's Run standards! 
Hollywood Elsewhere on John Goodman's Oscar campaign problem for Flight.


After Elton cute and thorough interview with the star of Gayby out actor Matthew Wilkas
The Incredible Suit meets James Bond Daniel Craig in posh hotel as Skyfall takes London by storm 
Fashion It So funny newish tumblr on the costumes in Star Trek: The New Generation. Love how randomly specific the interwebs can be
In Contention looks at all the contenders in the Best Animated Feature race 
/Film gets excited by one random comment from the difficult brilliant genius Paul Thomas Anderson about Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy  
Movie|Line wonders if Idris Elba will win the James Bond role in the future. But why are we talking about this? I want Daniel Craig to keep on running, shooting, fighting, travelling, stripping, and bedding those Bond girls. Don't you?
Cinema Blend any rate, Daniel Craig's possibly final two Bond pictures MIGHT have linked stories, a la Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace