Hope for Saldana

Posted by · 1:25 pm · January 4th, 2010

The closes to a breakthrough with motion capture, and/or animation being added to an actor’s performance would be Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Most of the acting Pitt did was as the half-animated Button – barely recognizable and a performance that simply couldn’t have been gotten without aided technology. That shows […]

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Weinsteins promote Mélanie Laurent to lead

Posted by · 5:00 am · November 18th, 2009

Some of you have already mentioned this in another thread, but The Weinstein Company, in their apparent wisdom, have decided to campaign “Inglourious Basterds” star Mélanie Laurent for Best Actress. Far be it from me to question the judgment of one of the greatest strategists in Oscar history, but … what? Laurent was, admittedly, a […]

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The Great Performances: 1995

Posted by · 4:06 pm · October 10th, 2009

Based on some of the comments I received last week regarding my article on great acting, I took the suggestion of a young lady and am kicking off a series of articles, one per week, that will explore the best performances ofeach year, beginning today with 1995.  So let’s go back and work our way […]

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8/25 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:33 am · August 25th, 2009

• Jeff Wells speaks up on the Best Actress race. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • “Black Dynamite” goes to Apparition. [Variety] • Behinds the scenes of “The Burning Plain.” [Coming Soon]

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‘Basterds’ box office owed to Pitt?

Posted by · 3:42 pm · August 23rd, 2009

Buried at the bottom of this Independent study of the diminishing star factor in Hollywood was a nugget about Weinstein Company honcho Harvey Weinstein’s marketing strategy for “Inglourious Basterds,” which had Brad Pitt front and center (and, in a way, made the actor appear to be a bigger element of the film than he in […]

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Great performers at their best

Posted by · 7:50 am · August 21st, 2009

After spending some time this summer watching some excellent films on DVD, I was inspired to write this piece about the great actors’ (living, with one exception) greatest performances. Narrowing it down to one each (brutal, believe me), I think have come up with a list of actors, young and old, that represents some of […]

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8/17 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:33 am · August 17th, 2009

• Amid sticky financial days for The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein tells you to “sit tight” and “don’t bet against” him and brother Bob. [New York Times] • It must be going around, because ditto Universal execs Mark Shmuger and David Linde. [Los Angeles Times] • Sharon Waxman is frustrated at the word-count of the […]

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Brad Pitt on Real Time

Posted by · 6:34 pm · August 16th, 2009

Here’s part one. Part two after the jump:

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A statement I can get behind

Posted by · 11:59 am · August 16th, 2009

Marshalling an ensemble is something that the 46-year-old director has always excelled at, and throughout his career he has made a habit of resuscitating ailing careers – most recently, the late David Carradine in the martial arts double Kill Bill. But with his latest film, it’s Tarantino’s willingness to cast outside his Hollywood postcode that […]

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REVIEW: “Inglourious Basterds” (**1/2)

Posted by · 12:06 pm · August 5th, 2009

Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” isn’t as indulgent as “Death Proof” or “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” but it doesn’t have the filmmaking panache and wit of the moving image to forgive it its sins like “Kill Bill: Vol. 1,” either.  It’s a slightly more contained bout of silliness, but it’s silliness nevertheless. The film is trademark […]

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Jennifer’s Basterds

Posted by · 12:04 pm · July 10th, 2009

What’s with all the poster action today? I can’t keep up. Anyway, in the interests of efficiency, I’ve paired up the new one-sheets for “Jennifer’s Body” and “Inglourious Basterds” (yes, another one) for your viewing pleasure. Why not? After all, they’re both advertising blood-spattered comedies from smart-aleck Oscar-winning writers, and they both seem destined to […]

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5/4 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:17 am · May 4th, 2009

• Premiering a Brad Pitt character poster from “Inglourious Basterds.” [Ain’t It Cool News] • Digging into the world of fan-made films across the pond. [The Guardian] • John Hiscock talks to J.J. Abrams about selling a re-imagined “Star Trek” to classic stars and fans alike. [Daily Telegraph] • Peter Knegt kicks of “(123) Days […]

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Please no

Posted by · 10:54 am · April 17th, 2009

I don’t know.  I look at this still and I think, “God, I’m destined to despise every inch of this film.”  That’s what seriously goes through my mind.

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Kevin Macdonald steps up to ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’

Posted by · 12:02 pm · March 31st, 2009

I first heard about Kevin Macdonald’s plans to adapt Rosemary Sutcliff’s “The Eagle of the Ninth” way back in 2006 when I sat down for a lunch interview with screenwriter Jeremy Brock (who co-wrote Macdonald’s “The Last King of Scotland”).  The machinery being what it is in this town, you have to wait until a […]

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NYT Mag’s Great Performers

Posted by · 12:52 pm · February 5th, 2009

The New York Times Magazine has launched a sweet set of slide shows, “Great Performers,” narrated by journalist Lynn Hirschberg featuring Oscar nominees Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Penelope Cruz (saucy shots!), Kate Winslet and Robert Downey Jr. These shots of Winslet and Rourke are definitely my favorites.  Loky has become a […]

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Life is short, etc, etc, etc…

Posted by · 4:48 pm · January 30th, 2009

Today’s Telegraph carries an interview with Brad Pitt that somehow manages to be simultaneously personal, honest and thoroughly unilluminating. There’s plenty of contented musing on fatherhood and Angelina Jolie if that’s your cup of tea, but I couldn’t help being somewhat disappointed by the banality of his take on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”: […]

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“Alan Parker had a boner…”

Posted by · 7:38 am · January 28th, 2009

Sorry — just now getting this up on the site.  Brilliant stuff: More here.

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After cooling off a bit…

Posted by · 11:22 am · January 23rd, 2009

Yesterday the Academy displayed just what a fractured organization they are, championing a small film like “Slumdog Millionaire,” for which I applaud them, but snubbing “The Dark Knight,” one of the best reviewed films of the year and a titan at the box office. All day I was asking, ‘How?’  All day I wondered just […]

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