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Entries in Matt Damon (39)

Sunday
Feb192017

What did you see this weekend? 

The odd proposition of The Great Wall didn't excite moviegoers in the States -- Matt Damon leading historical fantasy fiction about China's great wall and monstersWhaaa?-- but its huge price tag (150 million budget) doesn't mean it will lose big since it's already made over 200 million overseas. Generally speaking director Zhang Yimou knows how to wondrous spectacle movies but this movies reviews leave something to be desired. Nevertheless it was a relatively quiet weekend with not much changing as the maintream titles played steadily and the Oscar titles are beginning to decline as the conversation around the Oscars nears its end point.

But did anyone see I Am Not Your Negro's huge box office gross coming? You never can tell with documentaries which ones will convince people to buy tickets en masse. In specialty theaters the Mexican rom-com Everybody Loves Somebody also opened to strong numbers.

the great Zhang Yimou directing... Matt Damon in The Great Wall?

TOP WIDE 
01 Lego Batman Movie $34.2 (cum. $98.7)
02 Fifty Shades Darker $20.9 (cum. $89.6)
03 The Great Wall $18 NEW 
04 John Wick Chapter Two $16.5 (cum. $58.6) 
05 Fist Fight $12 NEW

TOP LIMITED 
01 Everybody Loves Somebody $1 NEW 
02 I Am Not Your Negro $975K (cum. $3.2) Reviewthe nominated docs
03 Oscar Nominated Shorts $600K (cum. $1.6) Doc Shorts Ranked
04 Jolly Lib 2 $330K (cum. $1.3)
05 A United Kingdom $270K (cum. $360K)

Tuesday
Feb072017

Pictures from the Oscar Luncheon

by Murtada

The question on a lot of people’s minds after the SAG Awards is how political are the Oscars going to be. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs put that to rest. Addressing those gathered for the traditional luncheon, she alluded to the banned Muslim nominees, Asghar Farhadi and others, by pointing to the empty chairs:

Today we celebrate you. Your work and your achievements, but everyone knows there are some empty chairs in this room which has made Academy artists, activists. There is a struggle globally today over artistic freedom that feels more urgent than at anytime since the 1950s. Art has no borders. Art has no language and doesn’t belong to a single faith. No, the power of art is that it transcends all these things. And strong societies don’t censor art. They celebrate it.

By calling the nominees “activists”, Boone Isaacs is sanctioning political speeches at the ceremony which could make for an interesting show. Still the mood was not somber at the luncheon, and many nominees took the time to socialize. Isabelle Huppert and Michelle Williams caught up at the cocktail hour. Others did that even while taking their places for the annual class photo. More favorite moments after the jump.

Click to read more ...

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)
Friday
Jul292016

Review: Jason Bourne

It’s Eric, returning to talk about the fifth chapter in the popular Jason Bourne franchise.   Judging from the discussions I heard coming from the exit of an early screening of Jason Bourne, your enjoyment of this latest installment of the venerated action spy films probably rests in your expectations.  

Because the level of artistry involved with these films has been so high, some out there are naturally hoping that the creative forces behind Jason Bourne found a way to ratchet things up even further.  The main grumble outside the theater seemed to be that the films have gotten repetitive in form and content (Bourne finds himself in a huge public space, uses the natural crowd to escape, etc.).   

I find myself in a different camp:  to me, it’s exactly these set-ups, and specifically the skillfulness with which they’re executed, that fuel the enjoyment...  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr212016

Yes No Maybe So: Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy. The Bourne Ultimatum. The Bourne Legacy. Miss Bourne If You're Nasty. Universal Pictures correctly assumes "You know his name" which is a brilliant tagline for the forthcoming fifth* entry in the franchise, titled Jason Bourne. In fact, it could well be a tagline for 60% of the franchises out there (the other 40% are led by concepts/groups, created "universes", or in YA dystopia cases >gasp< a young woman).

The question is are we excited to go another round with Matt Damon's leaping, punching, kicking, shooting, indestructable action man and the Oscar-nominated suits that are always trying to hunt him down? Let's find the answer together with our Yes No Maybe So game... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar062016

What's Next for this Past Season's Actors - Part 2

Murtada here to continue the conversation about upcoming projects from actors who've just walked red carpets and absorbed whatever limelight got past the Leo coronation. We've dealt with the winners and the actresses, let's turn our attention to the men.

Christian Bale: Coming up first is The Promise with Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk), a love triangle set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. He recently signed on to star in Scott Cooper’s Western drama Hostiles.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb112016

Best Actor: The Year of the Ham

As noted by the recently departed Alan Rickman on his BAFTA win for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves "Subtlety isn't everything." As far as Oscar is concerned, this year Best Actor was go big or go home. Take a look the leading men outside the bubble and you'll find mostly nuanced performances like those from Michael B. Jordan, Tom Courtenay, and Tom Hanks with their scenery unchewed. Rewarding more broad work has made this the Year of the Ham.

Some of the bigger choices have been more welcome than others in this field, so let's have some fun assessing the hammage:

Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Clearly the most guilty of going big for its own sake, Cranston's nomination leaves quite a sour taste in your mouth. The performance feels built upon arched shoulders and mustaches, even if Cranston is a game actor admirably going along with the film's schlocky tone. It's not just the scenery getting chewed, but the script, the costumes, the camera, and poor Diane Lane. It's so hammy, he even shows us his hams in a prison scene.
Level of Ham: SPAM - some people like it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Matt Damon - The Martian
Here's a role that actually calls upon the actor to be a ham. Matt Damon gets to use more of his natural charm than he has in anything outside of the Ocean's franchise and spends much of his performance breaking the fourth wall. He leans in on the nerd humor that's heavy on puns and dirty words, but thankfully never goes full broski. Everything lands, including his unexpected emotional moments, but this a performance playing right to the crowd. The visible hams are an obvious emaciated stunt double.
Level of Ham: Honey-Baked - generally pleasing to everyone

Click to read more ...