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Entries in J.K. Simmons (10)

Wednesday
Jun082016

Make America Link Again

• Vague Visages why critics often fail when writing about acting
EW Forget to link up to the Meryl Streep as Donald Trump thing. Sadly no better video has emerged than this very shaky cel phone
• Playbill in the most exciting theater news imaginable The Lovely Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon will co-star in the revival of The Little Foxes. The best part? They'll be alternating roles periodically!
• TFE ...If you missed our Smackdown which featured The Little Foxes you should read it. It is a great play which made for an excitingly cutting movie with killer performance by Bette Davis and Patricia Collinge. Can't wait to see it on stage and see what Linney & Nixon do with those two very different roles.

• Slate the enduring influential portrait of genius and mediocrity in Amadeus 
The Tarzan Files has images from Total Film's behind the scenes report on the Legend of Tarzan
Variety Netflix releases some data on how quickly people binge watch but not enough. I mean, I wanna hear how often a viewer DOESN'T complete a show. There must be stats on that and is that how they decide what to cancel?
Variety Geena Davis producing a documentary on Hollywood's gender inequality
/Film JK Simmons is working out a lot to play Commissioner Gordon. Doesn't he know Gordon never gets any action beyond telephone calls and holding a gun?
• Village Voice on Brian de Palma and divisive auteurs eventually being labelled masters
• Comics Alliance James Wan talks about why he chose to direct Aquaman over Flash as both were offered to him
• Pajiba on the worst thing about Warcraft. Yup, we have another incredibly good looking actor (this time it's Daniel Wu) buried in makeup and latex until you can't recognize him.
• TFE ...If you missed the last podcast we talked about this problem with franchise pictures. Why do they keep hiring beautiful actors when they intend to cover up their beauty and make them unrecognizable?
• Antagony & Ecstasy a rare 10/10 review for The Lobster 

Off Screen
SBS a breakdown of victim blaming using pie charts 

 

Wednesday
Feb102016

The Grace of Keanu Reeves 

TODAY'S MUST READ ELSEWHERE
Our sometimes contributor Angelica Bastien wrote a great piece for Bright Wall / Dark Room called "The Grace of Keanu Reeves" in which she argues against the common dismissals of his acting ability. As a longtime fan of Keanu (Point Break/Private Idaho being the peak era of devotion) this was a joy to read.

One of her greatest points deals with "the crossroads of virile and vulnerable, territory previously charted by actors as legendary as Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and Paul Newman. But there's a difference.

These actors often seem to fight against the lustful gaze of the camera, while Keanu supplants himself to it. Where they seem cynical, disinterested, or too wounded as a romantic lead, Keanu is utterly open.

In "Point Break," he’s a hotshot with a gun and a badge. But he’s also an object of lust for the camera (and audience), with a disarmingly open smile. Furthermore, without the help of a woman—the short-haired pixie vixen surfer Tyler (Lori Petty)—he wouldn’t be able to integrate himself into the gang of robbers/surfers led by Bodhi (Patrick Swayze). This artful dynamic—a woman of greater skill guiding a passive man into a world beyond his imagination—develops even further in "The Matrix" (1999). Some of this, of course, exists on a plot level. But Keanu tends to let his scene partners take the lead, becoming almost a tabula rasa on which they (and we) can project our ideas of what it means to be a hero, a man, a modern action star. 

Do check it out. And share your feelings about Keanu in the comments. This article brought the guilt down that I have yet to see John Wick (2014). 

Tuesday
Jul072015

Review: Terminator Genisys

Tim here. "The best Terminator movie since T2: Judgment Day" is a statement like "Jai Courtney's best-ever performance in a movie": they both have the functional shape of a compliment, but they're not actually saying very much that's complimentary. And they're both true of Terminator Genisys, the little movie that couldn't over the 4th of July weekend, and is currently on pace to be one of 2015's most visible and embarrassing box office flops.

That's not... entirely... fair. It is probably the case that Genisys gets more wrong than it gets right, starting right from that ghastly title (it's derived from an in-movie brand name designed for maximum marketing impact, but that hardly makes it less obnoxious). But it doesn't only get things wrong, and some of its successes are genuinely worth the time it will take to watch the first half of the movie on Netflix several months from now.

The plot is a jam-packed muddle, but the basic strokes are that, in the war-torn California of 2029, human resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) is about to stamp out the evil artificial intelligence system Skynet, but before he can, Skynet sends an assassin robot called a T-800 (Brett Azar's body with Arnold Schwarzenegger's younger face CGI'd on) back in time to 1984.

More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb162015

Beauty vs Beast: Little Drummer Bot

Howdy folks it's Jason from MNPP here, pulling myself out of the snow-heap I was buried under last week to drum up a new round of our "Beauty vs Beast" series, in which we ask you to pick sides between good and evil, movie-style. By this time next week the 87th Academy Awards will have come and gone in an explosion of gold-dust and gowns, so I figure I'll get one more contender in here before it's too late... and what better place to celebrate Oscar Season than with the Best Picture nominee that's all about the blood and the sweat and the brutality that goes into slicing and dicing art down to ecstatic perfection? Replace Miles Teller's drumsticks with little golden men and replace JK Simmons with, well, let's say Harvey Weinstein cuz you know why not, and you get the idea. Enter Whiplash, where losers need not apply.

 

You've got one week to pick your picks, and please do furiously hit up the comments, pounding your opinions yay or nay onto your keyboard so hard your fingers draw blood. Although I probably shouldn't say please? Fletcher doesn't like it if I say please.

PREVIOUSLY I go away for one week and before we know it Nathaniel's got us drowning in sexy gingers - he can't help himself! (And we're not complaining!) Last week's competition faced-off Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne two times over, and because we all love them both we were kind enough to spread the wealth - as the mother-son-lovers in Savage Grace it was Juli who came out on top, but it was Eddie and his Jupiter Ascending abs that dominated her goth stab in the dark in The Seventh Son. Said Nika of the latter, winning my heart with pure logic:

"I hated Eddie's performance in Jupiter Ascending, but, boy, he is shirtless. I can't resist."

Saturday
Jan172015

If you fused two Hulks together could they smash J.K. Simmons?

That's the question I keep asking myself about Best Supporting Actor. My Oscar-clogged brain works like that, taking flights of fancy when it finds true facts too boring to contemplate any further. J.K. Simmons could only lose the Oscar if he suddenly became a different person before ballots were due and was unmasked as a terrorist or a serial killer or what not. He's going to win because in addition to giving a big beloved performance, he is also very well liked. As with Patricia Arquette, it's churlish and unbecoming to root against a long time actor finally getting the role people will remember them by. 

In any other year, though, this particular Oscar race would be a weird superhero collision between two very fine famous actors who both happen to get green when they're angry. Former Hulk Edward Norton vs. Present Hulk Mark Ruffalo. Both would have tremendously strong narratives for a win in that "They haven't won yet? But they're always great!" kind of way. But they'll both lose.

Silver lining: Perhaps if you tally the final votes in a month's time, their combined totals would beat Simmons? No never mind. He's too far ahead even for that.

See the Best Supporting Actor chart here! Find out how they got nominated*, how many films they've made, and vote on the poll for who "should" win - it's Reader's Choice.

*theorizing for entertainment purposes only - we can't read voter minds

Monday
Jan122015

J.K. ("Just Keep-On") Simmons Still Leading. Final Predictions!

Last night's Golden Globes did nothing to change the long since frozen Best Supporting Actor race. It's so frozen that I think everyone even agrees on the order or support for each player (which is fairly unheard of). So get your place in line for the coronation parade for everyone's favorite shouty music professor. Especially after a strong acceptance speech. Barring a total shock on Thursday morning our line up will look exactly like it's been looking for some time now in the year's least contested acting category (seriously. People are still trying to make Best Actress that but it is SO not)

Best Supporting Actor Final Predictions
Robert Duvall, The Judge (5th place)
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood (4th place)
Edward Norton, Birdman (2nd place)
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher (3rd place)
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (1st place)

So what happened to Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice)?
Paul Thomas Anderson's film came out too late. Though Brolin is by far the best thing in it, the material is "far out" enough to keep people talking about a ton of other elements for far too long for the hazy discussion and fog to clear and leave the buzz to coalesce around him. When it hits DVD and cable people will surely say "How did Brolin NOT get nominated for this?" and they'll probably say it for years to come. 

So what happened to Tom Wilkinson (Selma)? Heated objections to Selma, which came quite quickly and suspiciously given the lack of scrutiny of the other "true stories" in the race, ALL centered around its portrayal of LBJ.

So what happened to Chris Pine (Into the Woods)? It would have taken Into the Woods being a Best Picture sure thing rather than a 'bubble' film to pull the cartoon Prince in. People do love him in it but you need Picture buzz or a different kind of career than he has at the moment, to win a nomination for such a broadly comic part. Not that this particular category objects to comedy.

See the Oscar chart here.

If you're a Norton or Ruffalo voter in this category make sure to vote in the "Would You Rather?" poll. Hey, it was Tina & Amy's idea, not ours.