December 27, 2012
HOLLYWOOD had a bounce-back year in 2012, mostly deserved. Movie attendance was up more than 5 percent to about 1.36 billion, as the industry did a good job giving folks what they wanted and often more than they expected. And the year closes with a strong roster of movie-making talent on view - works by Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell and Judd Apatow, with Kathryn Bigelow on the way in a few weeks. The year also closes with the industry on the list of collateral suspects in the wake of recent tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn., prompting questions about the role of popular culture.
June 10, 2011
THE JOKE about the three stages of an actress in Hollywood - babe, district attorney, "Driving Miss Daisy" - is so good, we repeat it even if it isn't true anymore. The truth is the business is getting to be much friendlier to "older" actresses, especially if you factor in television. Norristown's Maria Bello is now forty-something, she's mother of a 10-year-old boy, and she's busier than ever - a new movie ("Beautiful Boy") opens today, she has two more in the hopper, and she's about to embark on the American version of the venerated Helen Mirren BBC series "Prime Suspect," the quintessential plum role.
January 25, 2012
YESTERDAY'S OSCAR nominations set the stage for an Oscar season marked by arguments that may get incredibly loud, and a race that will be incredibly close. Right now, Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" is the nominal favorite with 11 nominations, just ahead of the neo-silent movie "The Artist," with 10. Dig into the actor/actress/writing/directing categories, though, and you'll see a voting body with its collective mind going in a million directions. There were nine nominations for best picture, and you can usually look for the eventual best-picture winner among the best-director category, where the five nominees are Terrence Malick ("Tree of Life")
January 26, 2011
TODAY, OSCAR snubees are wondering what they have to do to get a nomination. Cut off an arm? Possibly. It worked for James Franco in "127 Hours," for "True Grit," and for "Winter's Bone. " All of these limb-rending epics scored nominations for cast and crew yesterday, while other folks went home . . . empty-handed. Like Chris Nolan. His hit "Inception" scored nine nominations, second only to "True Grit" (10) and "The King's Speech" (12), but he was again shut out in the race for best director (shades of "The Dark Knight")
July 21, 2011
MICHAEL RAPAPORT has received some terrific reviews for his new documentary about A Tribe Called Quest, but not from all the guys in Tribe. Phife Dawg has praised the film, "Beat Rhymes & Life," but Quest frontman Q-Tip has attacked it, and called Rapaport many unflattering names. Other members have boycotted screenings. "At this point, dealing with the group and the stuff that happened with Q-Tip, I don't really give a s--- because I didn't make the movie for them," Rapaport said.
May 20, 2010
THERE ARE probably drunks in bars right now betting that Tom Cruise's next movie will be a piece of crap. But surely no sober person, no reasonable individual, no bookie, Vegas junkie or Mafia syndicate would try to earn a living from such wagering. And no non-lunatic would want to take revenue from wagers about Tom Cruise movies and turn it into a pillar of the U.S. economy. That's nuts, right? Except on Wall Street, a place where decades of lax supervision have created a kind of financial Shutter Island, an insane asylum filled with people who don't know they're crazy.
February 28, 2011
IN THE EYES of Oscar, it's good to be "The King's Speech. " It's also good to be Eagles owner Jeff Lurie and wife Christina, the executive producers of "Inside Job. " Both movies won Oscars last night - "King's Speech" for Best Picture (and Best Director), and "Inside Job," the movie financed and executive produced by the Luries, won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Colin Firth won Best Actor for his work as the lead in "The King's Speech," as a wartime monarch struggling with a speech impediment.
March 8, 2010
THE SPOILS of an epic Oscar war went to "The Hurt Locker," which won Best Picture last night by beating the world's most popular movie, "Avatar. " The movie won six awards in all (to "Avatar's" three). Kathryn Bigelow, who helmed the Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker," became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director (an award presented by Barbra Streisand). "There's no other way to describe it, it's the moment of a lifetime," said a tearful Bigelow, who dedicated the award "to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis.
September 2, 2010
WHEN ARMY Spc. Russell Baer met Pat Tillman, he expected a "meathead. " Baer served in the same Ranger unit as Tillman, celebrated back home as the football star who quit the NFL and volunteered to serve in the Army after 9/11. "We like to put people boxes, and I was thinking: Meathead. Egotistical, testosterone-driven, chest-thumping male. And he was totally freaking different, an American original," said Baer, who was just yards from his buddy when Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
April 2, 2012 |
I thought the hockey comedy "Goon" (opening in theaters this weekend) was funny, but I lack certain street cred. The kind that comes with having your brawls with Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Dubinsky posted on hockeyfights.com, or your bout with Gregory Campbell honored as Hockey Fight of the Day on fighters.com, as recently as March 18. Such are the credentials of Flyer tough guy Zac Rinaldo, who this season has compiled two goals, six...