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Entries in superheroes (176)

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

Wednesday
Jan142015

10 years later: Elektra, the last female superhero

Tim here, with a palate cleanser. We’re all in hardcore Nominations Eve mode, of course, but the world of movies is broader than the couple dozen films that are about to be granted the right to put the words "Academy Award Nominated" on their DVD cases. Much, much broader. As broad as you can imagine. Nope, broader still.

About as far from Oscar worthiness as it gets – no matter how much or how little sarcasm you layer around the phrase "Oscar worthy" – we find a certain Elektra, which opened ten years ago on this very day. It's not the kind of movie that typically gets fêted on its birthday: it's very, very bad, but not so transfixingly bad that it developed a cult of ironic worship. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan062015

Ant Man Teaser via Agent Peggy Carter

Agent Carter premiered tonight. I actually thought it was quite good with Hayley Atwell a surprisingly strong presence as the lead. Perhaps she's better suited for TV given that she's never been that exciting on the big screen.

In addition to being top notch at the straight-faced espionage scenes, she was quite willingly winking with camp affection to "spy" shows in her undercover scenes. A good sense of humor all around and bonus points for including Dollhouse's excellent Enver Gjokaj in the supporting cast and for passing the Bechdel Test within, like, the first four minutes. See, it's EASY to do. Much appreciated.

I know I'm not supposed to be talking about actresses but I can't help myself! The subject of this post is the Ant Man teaser. We'll wait for the trailer for a full "Yes No Maybe So" but for now random thoughts...

 after the jump, please enjoy the teaser and my 8 favorite shots from the trailer. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan062015

Link is Strange

THR Grease Reunion! Olivia Newton-John sings with Didi Conn
Vanity Fair Rosamund Pike talks about that scene in Gone Girl (no, not the overrated nothing shower scene. the other one)
The Daily Dot offers up a chart of superhero films and the Bechdel test 
Awards Circuit Clayton shares his personal ballot. He has some weird notions about what "supporting" means (John Lithgow in Love is Strange. smh) but it's fun to see personal favorite lists. They're always more idiosyncratic than critics groups: lots of love for Wild Tales and Eleanor Rigby 
The Atlantic an article on a shift in Madonna's provocation... it's negative but interesting
Grantland has an even better piece on Madonna's consistency and her new old #unapologeticbitch phase. I'm always happy when Madonna inspires cultural thinkpieces. This Girl will never be Gone.

Coming Soon Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone will be back in April 2016 with Michelle Darnell, a comedy about an insider trading excon. I'm rooting for them but please be more taut and more focused and funnier and just better than Tammy. PLEASE. 
Critic Wire asks us to stop paying attention to the Razzies
EW has an Ant-Man cover. Paul Rudd looks good but I have to be honest I'm a little tired of superhero outfits being these butch armorish leather things which has been going on for over a decade now. Let's bring back the bright spandex! 

Speaking of I do love the new poster...

Two Things I Never Tire of Loving About MNPP
Jason's love of Dominic Cooper
Jason's hatred of Jane Wyman 

Follow Ups
Frontiers Matthew Warchus comments on the Pride DVD debacle (discussed earlier)
Flavorwire defends the NSFC for their left field Best Picture choice (discussed earlier) though I myself would be far more eager to come to their defense if they'd exhibited any imagination at all in the other categories 
The Stake remembers some really great Meryl Streep quotes that reflect poorly on Russell Crowe's absolutely obnoxious comments about aging actresses (which we linked up earlier). Ageism is so pernicious and when combined with sexism its extra odious. I'm gearing myself up for another round of this when the new Madonna album comes out and all the people who hate the inevitability of their own eventual death will say she should "act her age" instead of still being a vibrant entertainer in her 50s.

Saturday
Jan032015

Interview: Michael Wilkinson. Before 'Batman vs Superman', Came 'Noah'

With Oscar voting in progress, let's talk costume design. With Best Picture contenders hogging all the conversation, we remain ever hopeful that the guilds remember to look beyond the films as a whole to the specifics of their particular craft when they scribble down their nominations. One of the most influential costume designers working today is Michael Wilkinson who regularly pushes the envelope in terms of costume technology (see Tron Legacy) and I'm not talking about the miraculous cleavage feats of American Hustle which won Wilkinson a well-deserved Oscar nomination last year. This year you can even see the influence of his 300 costumes in those Maze Runner harnesses (Fun fact: Christine Bieselin Clark, one of the costume designers on that film, was once Wilkinson's assistant!)

Prior to American Hustle he was best known for the films of Zach Snyder (Watchmen, Man of Steel) and the costume designer and I spoke  between fittings on day 104 of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shoot (he'd just finished the final fitting of our new Amazon Princess Gal Gadot). This superhero epic has occupied him for well over a year but he says "happily so" but Noah was no easy task either. He built an entire film's worth of costumes for Noah ...from scratch. 

No matter what genre or film he's working on, be it prestige dramas like Babel, indies like Friends with Money or huge superhero fantasies like Watchmen he's always look for ways to illuminate character. In his own words

Costume design is a subtle art but immensely satisfying.

We couldn't agree more. Excerpts from our conversation follow

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec052014

Oscar's FX Finalists: From Bucky to Bilbo

MURPH !!!!!!!

The Visual effects Oscar finalists have been announced after that branches bake-off ritual wherein they screen visual effects reels from various films. Ten films remains standing but only five can become Oscar nominees so it's superheroes vs. mutated monsters vs aliens vs. hobbits vs giant fucking robits vs. maimed fairies for that coveted honor.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Godzilla
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Maleficent
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Transformers: Age of Extinction
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Other than Maleficent the female led fx hits all missed the cut from Lucy to Mockingjay Part 1 through longshots like Divergent. Critically panned mainstream movies like Into the Storm and Amazing Spider-Man 2 also didn't make it. Perhaps more surprisingly Oscar-hopefuls like Noah, Birdman and Into the Woods were also discarded. (Maybe the visual effects branch also didn't understand what was happening to the Witch in her final scene?) But the missing film we'll shed a tear for is TFE's endorsed visual effects contender Under the Skin. But then this branch never listens to us. Our suspicion is they don't view their own specialty as an art -- because they continually avoid emotionally expressive stylized vfx work - but view it as a technical craft with the two and only goals being first large-scale spectacle and second, computer generated versimilitude. 

May the best effects become Oscar nominees on January 15th and by best we mean the Apes, the good Captain, Interstellar and Godzilla. Certainly three of those are likely to make it but my beloved Winter Soldier is a longshot with those infuratingly ubiquitous hobbits and transformers being renewed for so many seasons over the years. 

What do you think the five nominees will be and who do you think deserves the win? It's a tough call with so many great looking films around.