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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 | letterboxd

 

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"Carrie Coon who in her screen debut steals Gone Girl from the much bigger names. Also can we just talk about how between Nora Durst and Margo Dunne that no one has as impressive a breakout in 2014 then Coon. " - Eion Daly

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Entries in release dates (51)

Friday
Dec262014

The Less Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Or, "Try Harder Next Time You Talented So & Sos!"

Our Worst of the Year feature "Cinematic Shame" has shrunk in size. This is not because movies are better. This is because your host (Nathaniel R) has somehow become less jaded and more appreciative of the cinema over the years. In fact, he often can be seen crinkling his brow when faced with reminders that a lot of people who write about the movies don't like very many of them. Even more casually evident: lots of people who write about awards season don't like awards season. (A solemn promise to the disgruntled: there are plenty of other topics worth writing about - pitch those to your editor and TRUST that this topic will be amply covered, and all over the place, in your absence!)

But let's not distract ourselves.

 In the lists that follow as we gently spank famous people on their virtual bottoms we remember that they can turn right around the following year and wow us, thereby humbling us for doubting them. History is full of examples. We all have our "off" years or... um...decades. 

Uncomfortable segueway to Tim Burton...  [*cough*]

But look how cute this Big Eyes sketch he drew is! [Tomato stained lists are after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov152014

That Movie You Thought Wasn't Coming Out, Is!

December cometh. Cue ominous music.

That special month when US distributors panic and attempts to fulfill all star contract Oscar-eligibility demands by releasing EVERYTHING, often sloppily, for at least a week when another more traditional rollout would probably win the film more attention... especially from audiences who are trying to squeeze in all the holiday biggies and rarely think, "gee, I'd like to see that movie about Jennifer Aniston being depressed and eating pastries at that one screen before it leaves!" (I don't mean to be snarky. I'm not allowed to talk about Cake yet but I liked it.)

There seem to be seven-day eligibility runs planned for Cake, Black and White, The HumblingStill Alice, and Mommy... among others though details are purposefully scarce in some of these cases. These qualifiers or last second films are usually quiet since they aren't intended to be true openings of the film and aren't concerned with box office... UNTIL Oscar nominations hit.

The film that seems to have become the most confused over the past several months about when and where it will open and for how long it will play -- hell whether it exists at all --  is Maps to the Stars. Last we heard they were planning a Golden Globes qualifying run but not an Oscar qualifying run which was surely an internet misunderstanding - a digital game of telephone if you will - since why would you bother with the former if you didn't have eyes on the latter? The current plan is to open properly on February 27th nine months after it spurred a lot of press and won Julianne her first Best Actress prize of 2014. The current Maps release date suggests that they're just waiting to capitalize on God's presumed Oscar win on February 22nd for Still Alice.

Here's what I think of that:

FOUL-MOUTHED RANT

This one week business - part of the great 'hide your movie' phenomenon - is, as I'm often ranting this time of year, very anti-audience. I wonder when distributors will catch up to modern pop culture which likes to share beloved things. And very quickly, too. I think this is one of the lesser discussed reasons why people have turned to television for so much for their cinematic fix; it's instant. They can tweet and tumblr away immediately and everyone can be a part of the conversation if they choose to be.  It doesn't make any sense to premiere a film with big stars or name auteurs, both easy marketing hooks, at a festivals and then wait a year for release and have to promote it all over again. You lose all that revenue opportunity from all the people who wanted to be part of the conversation to begin with, to see what all the fuss was about. A year later when you need media voices to help promote your film by writing about it they've already exhausted the conversation and everyone cares less even the people who haven't seen it. They sometimes feel like they already have because of the months of conversation last year.

In happier less-ranty news I had all but forgotten that the hit play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks was being screenified and now it's also declared itself a December baby. It will come into the world on December 12th and here's the poster.

Your guess is as good as mine why they modeled the poster after a photoshopped 1990s DVD cover, but the cast is delightful: Gena Rowlands, Cheyenne Jackson, Julian Sands, Jacki Weaver... RITA MORENO.

 

Saturday
Nov152014

Important Dates. Beautiful Shoes.

There's nothing duller than a post consisting of dates culled from press releases so, as you read, please to enjoy this brand new photo of Michelle Pfeiffer.

Her fingernails won't match anything once she takes the shoes off!

She's one of many celebrities involved in the fifth annual Celebrity Shoe Auction. Proceeds go to the Small Steps Project. Since this very very recent photo is proof that she lives, we must again beg her to take another job. Geez, lady. Your kids must've just left for college. Get back to work!)

Important November Dates
19 - SAG Nomination Ballots Sent Out
25 - Spirit Award Nominations 
26 - Golden Globe Nomination Ballots Sent Out, Happy Thanksgiving

Important December Dates
1 - NYFCC Awards
2 - NBR Awards
7 - LAFCA Awards
8 -  OFCS Nominations, Globe & SAG Nomination Ballot Due Date, BFCA Ballots Sent Out
10 - SAG Nominations
11 - Golden Globe Nominations
12 - BFCA Nomination Ballot Due Date
15 - OFCS Winners
16 - Happy Hanukkah for the next week
25 - Merry Christmas, a million movies come out today
29 - Oscar Ballots go out
31 - Happy New Year, Have A Most Violent Year ... er...

I like his signature. Quick all you handwriting analysis experts: GO!

Important January Dates
5 - NYFCC Awards Gala
7 - Last day of Globe Voting, ASC Nominees Announced (Cinematographers)
8 - Oscar Ballot Due Date
9 - BAFTA Nominations
11 - Golden Globe Awards
13 - Last day of BFCA voting and DGA Nominations Announced
15 - Oscar Nomination Morning

15 - BFCA Awards ("Critics Choice")
23 - Last day of SAG voting
24 - PGA Awards (Producers) 
25 - SAG Awards (Actors)
30 - ACE Eddie Awards (Editors)
31 - ADG Awards (Art Directors)

Important February Dates
4 - VES Awards (Visual Effects)
6 - Final Oscar Balloting begins
7 - DGA Awards (Directors)
8 - BAFTA Awards
14 - Happy Valentines Day
15 - ASC Awards (Cinematographers), MPSE Awards (Sound Editors)
17 - CDG Awards (Costume Designers)
21 - Spirit Awards
22 - OSCAR NIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which dates do you most look forward to each year?

Thursday
Oct302014

Calendar-Man v. Film Culture: The Bubble-Bursting Wars

With every studio hopping on the "universe building" trend that Marvel perfected for cinema -- too bad Pixar's early "all original concept / few sequels" success didn't translate to cross-studio trends -- cinema will be becoming a lot more like television. It already has, of course, with those annual editions of popular franchises playing like big budget TV miniseries with all their episodes smashed together for one bingewatch a year (think Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter). With the Star Wars universe now planning annual showings and Bond & Star Trek till and that planned resurrection of the entire original iconic movie monsters, one has to wonder if Original Content will finally be put down by the 2020s. Or will the bubble burst and audiences will grow tired of continuing stories with overly familiar characters and often padded multi-part stories with no resolutions. You know, the kind they can get at home on television for free?!

This comic panel has been slightly altered to better illustrate my argument.

All entertainment trends are cyclical. This is a fact, however much people valiantly argue year after year that whatever's hot right then will live on forever. But when exactly will the bubble burst?

I was initially very excited about the growing genre of superhero movies -- like many boys I spent countless hours in childhood and adolescence dreaming of seeing my favorite characters on the page in live action environments (X-Men, The Avengers, The Teen Titans, Cloak & Dagger, Green Lantern and Daredevil figured chief amongst my fantasies in this regard). But even though I wanted this, I'm already kinda bored of seeing it actualized especially since so much of it plays more like a nightmare (see the first film versions of Green Lantern and Daredevil - or better yet, DON'T, if you've managed to escape them).

Backstage blog handwringing and the superhero glut after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep252014

The Oscar Race: Then, Now, Next Three Months

THEN...
One final honor for last year's best picture winner 12 Years a Slave (2013). We've heard talk of this before but it's official now: The National School Boards Association has partnered with the filmmakers and Peguin Books to make 12 Years a Slave and its study guide available to high schools across America. When I attended a Steve McQueen event last year in LA this dream was literally all that he wanted to talk about with the moderator despite the panel being called "On Directing" and his movie being an Oscar favorite.

The news was official a few days back

“I am thrilled that my dream of having 12 YEARS A SLAVE available to high school students is finally a reality. Solomon Northup’s powerful story needs to be shared and remembered for generations to come. This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to learn about the past. I truly appreciate the efforts of Montel Williams, the National School Boards Association, New Regency, Penguin Books, and Fox Searchlight for making this happen,” said Steve McQueen, director of 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Congratulations to all and to America, come to think of it, because if the utterly irrational reaction to the Obama era in some quarters has taught us anything it's that racism is a poison that isn't easily cured and destroys the brain first.

We're at war here."
- Anna Morales (Jessica Chastain) in "A Most Violent Year" 

NOW...
None of 2014's Oscar hopefuls thus far have had the kind of seismic impact that Gravity and 12 Years a Slave were beginning to exhibit this time last year, which means that the race is wide open and the battle will be bloody and heated for attention. This is both exciting and dull simultaneously since anything might possibly happen but people need things to obsessively root for to stay interested and the films this year don't seem to be grabbing moviegoers en masse apart from, you know, the superhero blockbusters. The Oscar Charts are updated in every single category for your punditry pleasures! 

Best Actress, which we should know better than to call "weak" in any given year, is suddenly heating up with Julianne & Reese looking more and more like battling locks for the statue and Jessica Chastain switching over there, too -- news from A24 -- from the previously assumed supporting position for A Most Violent Year.

INDEX | PICTURE | DIRECTOR | SCREENPLAYS
ACTRESS | ACTOR | SUPP. ACTRESS | SUPP. ACTOR
FOREIGN FILMS with SUBMISSION CHARTS
VISUALS | SOUND | ANIMATED FEATURES

Sound off in the comments. You know what to do.

THE NEXT THREE MONTHS... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep232014

Deadpool Solo Film is a Go


Margaret here, with the latest in superhero news. Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Comics have firmed their long-rumored plans to produce a Deadpool movie. A popular Marvel character, Deadpool (alias Wade Wilson) is a motormouthed mercenary with powers including regenerative healing and expert swordsmanship. He appeared in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as played by Ryan Reynolds, to much fan favor. Though Reynolds is not yet attached to the upcoming film, in the grand tradition of superhero tentpoles a release has already been fixed for February 12 of 2016. 

When Reynolds appeared as Deadpool five years ago, his star was quickly on the rise. The warm reception to his performance in Wolverine helped him land the lead in DC Comics' mega-budget Green Lantern movie, which (remember? We were so young back then) was expected to become a major franchise. The film ended up tanking spectacularly, and Reynolds' next several major-studio projects fared little better. Like many floundering movie stars before him, he retreated to the indie-movie scene, but Marjane Satrapi's The Voices (which played Sundance) is divisive and Atom Egoyan's The Captive (Cannes) was critically panned. 

Can this Deadpool project reverse his trajectory? Does Ryan Reynolds even have any chances left?