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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie

 

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Entries in Leonardo DiCaprio (90)

Wednesday
Feb012017

Oscar's reigning quartet to present, as is the tradition. 

I've somehow never seen this photo of Mark Rylance trying not to step on Brie Larson's train. Adorable.

AMPAS has announced that last year's acting winners will each be presenting on Oscar night. One assumes they will present their corresponding opposite-sex category as is the tradition, but who knows. Perhaps Oscar will mix it up. I'm all for tradition at the Oscars, don'cha know, but I don't mind a curveball now and then. You?

Alicia Vikander is back on screens February 24th (Oscar weekend!) with long delayed costume drama Tulip Fever  in which she dumps Christoph Waltz for Dane DeHaan because who wouldn't.

Brie Larson is back on screens April 21st in the ensemble crime comedy Free Fire, from Ben Wheatley (High-Rise).

Mark Rylance is back on screens July 21st in Chris Nolan's WW II epic Dunkirk.

...and Leonardo DiCaprio is back on screens in... 2018? 2019? 2020? He appears to have taken a whole victory year off after winning the Oscar and still has no immediate plans to be in front of the camera. It was just announced that he'll headline The Black Hand because what the world really needs more of is mafia movies (sigh) but in truth that one is a long way off since there's no screenplay yet. There's also the possibility of the Olympic bombing movie The Ballad of Richard Jewell which Leo was once set to star in but might only be producing now. Whatever happened to The Devil in the White City with Martin Scorsese? That project was announced just over a year ago and not a peep since. If they've dropped it, I hope it becomes a miniseries instead because that book is dense with information, history, cause and effect through lines, and reams of characters. 

Saturday
Nov052016

R+J at 20

Did you know that Baz Luhrmann has an instagram account? He's currently using it to celebrate Romeo + Juliet's 20th anniversary with behind the scenes photos and anecdotes (Best LOL: he feels the need to explain what a collage and inspiration boards are for young fans -- ah the days before Photoshop and "mashups".)

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

 

 

Thursday
Oct062016

What's your most vivid memory of "The Departed" and the 2006 Oscar Race? 

by Nathaniel R

Ten years ago today Martin Scorsese's smash hit The Departed opened in theaters. I remember that day well especially that beat just past this still above when the entire sold out movie theater exploded simultaneously with shock, excitement, screaming, whooping, collective chills. A master playing the audience perfectly so it's no wonder that Martin Scorsese finally won the Oscar for it. Strangely I have few other vivid memories of the movie other than the feeling that that deep line in Leonardo DiCaprio's perma-angst expression had never and would never be put to better use again. Also something about Vera Farmiga flirting in an elevator, and the movie's perfect final shot.

The Film Experience was definitely having an "off consensus" year -- we were all about Marie Antoinette, The Fountain, & Volver so the Oscars were kind of a let-down -- but at least it was one of those interesting years where the Best Picture contenders didn't hog all the nominations. In fact only 1 of the 10 leading acting contenders came from a Best Picture nominee. Strange, right?

What do you remember most about The Departed? And how comfortable were you with the 2006 Oscar's lineup. As a reminder the Best Pictures were:

  • Babel (7 noms / 1 controversial win - for the barely there Original Score) 
  • The Departed (5 noms / 4 wins including Picture)
  • Letters From Iwo Jima (4 noms / 1 win)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (4 noms / 2 wins)
  • The Queen (6 noms / 1 win)
Tuesday
Oct042016

Rachel, Rachel. Link, Link.

Rachel Rachel! No not the 1968 Oscar nominated Paul Newman / Joanne Woodward movie. But Weiz and McAdams. They're set to co-star in a Jewish lesbian romantic drama Disobedience. Good luck to whichever lesbian romantic drama with A list actresses has to follow Carol. Is this the next one that'll see release?

Other Clickables
NPR in the wake of Ben Affleck's stupidly titled The Batman, 27 better titles
Theater Mania Mulan will be the next Disney toon to get a live action remake. In 2018
The Guardian Leonardo DiCaprio states the obvious that is weirdly not obvious to many people on earth: climate change deniers should not hold public office 
Variety Laverne Cox, Ava DuVernay, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson will all be honored at Variety's Power of Women event on Oct 14th
In Contention a look back at The Departed's "non campaign campaign" for Oscar glory
Comics Alliance Iron Fist has a first teaser just as we're reaching oversaturation with Marvel's Universe
The New Yorker an amazing piece on the Nat Turner story and The Birth of a Nation
/Film FX's great animated series Archer will end with Season 10
AV Club Mahershala Ali, having a great year with Luke Cage and Moonlight, may get the prime villain gig in Alita: Battle Angel
MNPP Armie Hammer photos from an army thriller called Mine
Variety Westworld gives HBO great opening numbers
Coming Soon in honor of Westworld, 13 weird westerns
Towleroad another famous gay proves to be a right-winger blinded by his own privilege and idiotically thickheaded about what causes hate crimes. Lucian Piane of RuPaul's Drag Race --oy!
Playbill Wicked stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth both released new albums last week. Both hit the Billboard top 40 albums 

Finally...
Interview Magazine talks to the incomparable Parker Posey on her improvisatory work with Christopher Guest (including the new Netflix film Mascots premiering October 13th)

Parker Posey photographed by Craig Mcdean for Interview

Some of these scenes last, like, 15 minutes. And it's so disappointing when you see the final cut. You bring so much of your life and your story, and then it's just whittled away, you know? Chris likes his movies to really fly, to leave the audience wanting more—which is the rule of comedy. So his movies are kind of short. I like a three-and-a-half-hour documentary. I like Frederick Wiseman, Grey Gardens[1976] ... I'd love these movies to be so much longer than they are. You should see what Jane Lynch and Ed Begley Jr., and Michael Hitchcock and Don Lake come up with, by the minute. 

 

Thursday
May122016

Remember When...

Leonardo DiCaprio was a little elfin thing? 

 

Friday
Apr222016

"Time 100" is Oscar-Obsessed

Magazines may be a dying business but the few mega magazines that remain all have annual traditions to entice buys. And so it is with the "Time 100" an annual list of "Most Influential" though as with any such list it's highly subjective.

Here is a list of the movie & television people who made it this year in one of their five sections (the only section that does not include at least one actor is "Leaders")

Pioneers Aziz Ansari and Gina Rodriguez

Titans Dwayne Johnson, Wang Jianlin, and Kathleen Kennedy 

Taraji is the modern-day Bette Davis, touching audiences with her honesty and intensity. When you are on set with Taraji, she listens, but she also questions. She challenges everyone to go the extra step to get it right. She has a deep understanding of the human condition, and she displays it with her eyes—the pain, the happiness, the love, the laughter. She probably would have been a great silent actor, but then the world wouldn’t have had Cookie.

Before Empire, she was underappreciated by white America and Hollywood, while African Americans heralded her as our Meryl Streep. I’m so proud that Cookie has moved her into the zeitgeist. What Taraji has done with the role made the world finally appreciate who she is—quite simply, a tour de force on and off the screen.
-Lee Daniels on Taraji P Henson 

 

I offered Mark Rylance a significant supporting role in 1987 in my film Empire of the Sun—and he turned it down. A play had caught his fancy, and anyway, I sensed he was suspicious about film acting. Who could blame him? For actors who have given their lives to theater, making movies must be like lurching in the backseat of a car while the driver keeps working the brake. When Mark does a play, nobody says, “Cut,” only “Curtain” after a few uninterrupted hours. Legions of young thespians look to Mark as their muse and inspiration. From Boeing-Boeing to Jerusalem to Twelfth Night, the impact he’s had on classical and contemporary theater is the stuff of legend. A winner of three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and now an Oscar, Mark glimpses these honors with gratitude and humility, but his heart belongs to a good story. His soul is pure. He just loves to act.
-Steven Spielberg on Mark Rylance 

Artists Gael García Bernal, Taraji P Henson, Melissa McCarthy, Ryan Coogler, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mark Rylance, Charlize Theron, and Priyanka Chopra 

Icons They went full Revenant here honoring both Leonardo DiCaprio & Alejandro González Iñárritu

What's the takeaway?
It always amuses us when people call the Oscars "irrelevant" since the very fact that people get so up in arms about them every year is quite the indication that they remain the most relevant of movie institutions (even if movies themselves aren't as central to pop culture as they once were). They matter to people. Even the act of rising up against The Academy is underlining their stature as the house of the definitive golden idol of Hollywood. Time's movie lists are extremely unsubtle about sticking it to the Academy yet again over #OscarsSoWhite. Note that they ignored all but three Oscar nominees (the three big male winners) while honoring both Ryan Coogler & Idris Elba. Not that Coogler and Elba aren't worth honoring as they did have great years! But if they weren't trying to shame the Academy yet again they might well have considered Cheryl Boone Isaacs for this list since she's in the media so much of late and has been trying so hard to make a difference on the issue of diversity in Tinseltown. On the other hand, even as Time slaps Oscar's hand, they're embracing its other status quo #OscarsSoMale (in a manly back-patting kind of way) since they included all three of the Academy's most high-profile male winners (Rylance, DiCaprio, and Iñárritu) and neither of the big female winners.

Do you think of all these people as influential? Whose part do you suppose Spielberg wanted Rylance to play in Empire of the Sun? 

Monday
Mar142016

Beauty vs Beast: Irish Gangs Be Slashin'

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- I don't know if its my walk to work in Lower Manhattan every day or what but you'd be surprised (really, because literally nobody says this) at how often Martin Scorsese's 2002 film Gangs of New York comes to my mind. I mean clearly the nieghborhoods look a little bit different but whenever I look off towards the river I think to myself, "Self, a boat could totally shoot a cannon at you right now." So thanks for that, Gangs of New York. One more New York stress I don't need!

Anyway this morning we're thinking green thanks to the approaching St. Patrick's Day holiday, and I figured it was time to turn that anxiety into action -- it's the angry Irish laddy versus the Original New York Nativist Nightmare (pre-dating Donald Trump by a couple centuries)...

PREVIOUSLY It was a real battle of man against machine with last week's Ex Machina edition, but in the end our lady of the whirring silver midsection Ava slinked away with just about 53% if your vote. Said catbaskets:

"Team anti-rape avenger every time. (As opposed to team rapist creator). We shall not get lost in Isaac's dreamy pecs."