Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Portman’

2011 Summer Movies

May 5, 2011

Yippee, it’s May. Not only does it mean that winter is over, spring is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner, it also means that Hollywood will be churning out my favorite kind of movie—the SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!!  Since I love summer blockbusters sooooo much, I will use this blog entry to highlight a few of the many movies that will be coming out this summer.

May
Thor

Based on the characters from Marvel Comics, Thor is more than just a big lug with a hammer.  After all he gets his powers from the Norse gods, so he can’t just be some rock’em sock’em super hero. In fact, Stan Lee admitted that he occasionally had his characters, like Thor and Silver Surfer put forth his own philosophy of life. The film was directed by none other than Kenneth Branagh, of Hamlet fame and stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

Pirates of the Caribbean—On Stranger Tides
Love’em or hate’em, you have to hand it to Disney, when something works for them, they keep using it. Case in point, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The last one made $300 million, so the powers that be decided to make another one. This one features Penelope Cruz, as well as Johnny Depp and is in 3D. I’m sure this will make a pretty penny this time around, as well. After all, the mouse doesn’t live on cheese alone.

Hangover 2
The crew from Hangover, which is the highest grossing R-rated comedy, is back. Need I say more?

June
X-Men First Class

Another one of Marvel and Stan Lee’s properties is getting the blockbuster treatment this summer. This one is a prequel of how Charles Xavier and Magneto came to be who they are. While some of the teaser posters weren’t so great, this film looks interesting to me. This film stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and January Jones.

Cars 2
I guess the folks at Pixar thought since sequels worked so well for Toy Story, might as well try them for Cars. This time Lighting McQueen gets involved with spies during an international road race. I’ve seen the previews and they look good, so I’m actually looking forward to this film. Features the voices of Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy.

Rise of the Apes
Look at what Star Wars has wrought, sequels and prequels everywhere. This is a prequel for the original 1968 film Planet of the Apes with the dude who played Moses in The Ten Commandments. Hmmm, what was his name?* Well, senior moments not withstanding, this film deals with genetic engineering and what can happen when tinkering in the lab goes astray. Stars James Franco, Tom Felton and John Lithgow

July
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2

The long awaited end of the Harry Potter series will come this summer. Will Voldermore be defeated? Will Hermonine choose Harry or Ron? What will become of Harry? Oh wait, these questions were answered in the books. Maybe I should hurry up and read them all. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

Captain America: The First Avenger
Yet another Marvel property is getting the movie treatment. This time the story deals with a someone who volunteers to take part in an experiment during World War II to become a super soldier, only to end up with super human strength. Stan Lee must be very happy to see his creations on the big screen. I hope he is getting some money out of this, as well.  Stars Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson.

Cowboys and Aliens
Talk about your genre mashups. It wasn’t enough to make a western or a sci-fi film, director Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame, decided to take the graphic novel (comic book to those over the age of 40) by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and turn it into a movie. Of course the next question is, who will win? The cowboys or aliens? I have a feeling it will be the cowboys. Stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.

August
The Smurfs

Yes, those little blue creatures who got their start in a comic strip in 1958 by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, also known as Peyo, and then ended up as a Saturday morning cartoon on NBC in the 1980’s, are now coming to a multiplex near you—in 3D no less. Again the powers that be are into recycling and there is no end to this trend in sight. To quote, a famous Smurf line: “La, la, lala, la. La, lala, la.” Features the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria and Katy Perry.

Conan
Speaking of recycling, weren’t the first two with the Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger enough? Stars Jason Momoa. Would you believe that Momoa got his start in Baywatch Hawaii? Talk about fail safe casting.

Final Destination 5
Will this be the final Final Destination or will there be a 6, 7, 8….

Well, those are my thoughts on select 2011 summer movies. Tune in again next week for another thrilling blog entry. (Okay, so my blog entries aren’t exactly thrilling, but they are good reads.)

*It was Charlton Heston and I knew it along. I just did that to be funny.

Sources:
http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1082/summer-2011-preview-20-movies-well-be-talking-about-next-year/

Cantu, Hector, Heritage Magazine “Stan the Creator” Fall 2008, pg. 51

http://bluebuddies.com/help/smurfs_peyo_biography.htm

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2011 Oscars in Four Moments

March 3, 2011

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards took place on February 27 and here is the list of  winners:

Best Picture
The King’s Speech

Best Director
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech

Best Actor
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech

Best Actress
Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Best Original Screenplay
The King’s Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Social Network

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film
In a Better World

Best Documentary Feature
Inside Job

Best Animated Short
The Lost Thing

Best Documentary Short
Stranger No More

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland

Best Cinematography
Inception

Best Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland

Best Film Editing
The Social Network

Best Live Action Short
God of Love

Best Original Score
The Social Network

Best Original Song
We Belong Together
Toy Story 3

Best Makeup
The Wolfman

Best Visual Effects
Inception

Best Sound Editing
Inception

Best Sound Mixing
Inception

Of course a lot goes on in an Oscar broadcast, too much for me to write about, still there are four moments that I would like to present for your consideration.

Hosts Moment or Moments
In an effort to attract a younger demographic, the Academy picked Anne Hathaway and James Franco. I thought Hathaway was good as a host. She really put the effort to be engaging with the audience in the hall and with the television audience. As for Franco, he was just there, even dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. Since I’m a recent MBA graduate, the only reason I can think of for Franco’s not engaging performance was that he was very concerned about his studies and that got in the way of his host duties.

Can’t Take That Away From Me Moment
In the celebrity world of plastic surgery, botox and all around shallowness, it was great to see how Kirk Douglas handled himself. Yes, he doesn’t walk as well as he used to and he doesn’t talk as well as he used to, still for someone who is 94 years old and still dealing with the aftereffects of his stroke he showed the world two things:

1.     His mind is still as sharp as ever.

2.     While a stroke can make it difficult to walk and talk, it doesn’t take away the fact that you have class and Kirk Douglas has it.

By the way, the person who fought over Douglas’ cane was none other than Omar Sharif, Jr. Yes, he’s the son of that Omar Sharif. He has appeared in Egyptian television shows and films and now he wants to try his luck in Hollywood.

This Broadcast Has Been Brought To You By…
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), at least until the year 2020. While some didn’t like it the network promoted itself during the Oscar broadcast, I didn’t mind. The Oscars has a worldwide audience of at least one billion, so I can’t fault the network for getting the word out about itself. After all with the Internet and satellite television providers, ABC doesn’t have to content itself with North America anymore. There are opportunities to get the network’s programming out all over the world. So, when opportunity to do some promotion came up, ABC grabbed it.

Bravo Bravo Natalie Moment
Yes, I was rooting for Natalie Portman to get the Oscar for Black Swan. Not only did she work hard in preparing for the role, she worked hard and smart throughout her career. She choose roles that weren’t just “girl next door” or love interest. They ran the gamut from Queen Amidala in the Star Wars prequels to Evey in V for Vendetta and it paid off on Oscar night for her. Also, she was gracious enough to thank her parents, her fiancé Benjamin Millipied and the many, many people who were involved in Black Swan. It costs nothing to say thank you, but it means a lot to those who hear it.

Well there you have it, the Oscars in four moments. What will happen with next year’s Oscars? We’ll find out next year.

Sources:
http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees;_ylt=AgaPEOKqWkPbaM8JKL5jrzhIPKJ4

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41817860/ns/today-entertainment/

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/When+Kirk+Omar+Hollywood+story/4370595/story.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfzmj5yYI4Y

My Musings on the 2011 Oscar Nominations

February 4, 2011

The 2011 Oscar Nominations were announced on January 25, 2011 and here are the nominees for Best Picture:

Best Picture

Black Swan

The Fighter

Inception

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

Again, the Academy has 10 pictures up for Best Picture, it seemed to work well last year, so the powers that be decided to repeat it. If you want to see the entire list, go to: http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees.

Now for my musings on topics related to the Academy Awards

Those Who Weren’t Nominated

Hereafter
I saw this film and I thought it would score some nominations, such as Best Director, Best Actor or Best Screenplay. After all, Clint Eastwood was the director and unlike a lot of people in Hollywood, he is not a one trick pony. He’s gone from Spaghetti Westerns to Action films to directing and sometimes starring in films as varied as The Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and others. While he won Best Director for Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven, it wouldn’t hurt to honor him again.  Also, let’s not forget the multi-talented Matt Damon. His performance was good enough to merit a nomination. Don’t you think Damon’s Best Screenplay Award is a little lonely?

Conviction
I saw this film and I thought it would score some nominations, as well. It dealt with the important topics of wrongful conviction, loyalty, fighting for the truth and the Academy often rewards films like Conviction with a nomination or two. Shoot me, but I thought Hillary Swank’s performance was good enough to get a nomination, as well.

Michael Douglas
Here’s someone else who did not get nominated. Not to sound morbid, but considering that he had cancer, I thought he would be nominated for Wall Street, Money Never Sleeps, not so much as a pity award but more as a lifetime achievement award. Here is someone who didn’t just cash in on the fact that he is the son of Kirk Douglas. He worked his way up from doing episodic television (he got his start in The Streets of San Francisco) to starring and sometimes producing films (he got the rights for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and produced that film). Not that he didn’t have his demons to deal with, but considering how he could have ended up (i.e. Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan), Douglas ended up more than okay.

Bravo Natalie
Congratulations to Natalie Portman for her Best Actress Nomination for Black Swan. Here is someone who could have be forever known as Luke and Leia’s mom, instead she went to college (university for those living outside of the U.S.), picked roles that weren’t “Girl Next Door” or “The Love Interest” (check her out in V and you’ll know what I mean) and now it is paying off for her.

The Co-Host Might Get An Award
James Franco, who will be the co-host with Anne Hathaway of this year’s Academy Award’s ceremony, is up for a Best Actor Oscar for his work in 127 Hours. The last time a host or co-host was nominated was in 1958 when David Niven was nominated and won for the film Separate Tables. It would be interesting to see if this happens again. As for the film 127 Hours, I must admit that I didn’t see it. The story of a mountain climber who has to cut his own arm off in order to free himself from a boulder, didn’t appeal to me.

The 83rd Annual Academy Award ceremony will take place on February 27, 2011.

Sources:

http://oscars.movies.yahoo.com/nominees.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000140/#Director

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000142/awards
http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2010/11/29/entertainment/doc4cf3fa0a0753e470574252.txt

2010 Holiday Movies

November 11, 2010

It’s that time of year when the studios bring out the family/animated films, a few blockbusters and throw in some “serious” films for last minute Oscar contention, all to entertain the movie going public and make a few bucks for themselves, as well.

Here are few films that will be playing at a multiplex near you.

November 2010

Burlesque
What happens when you put Cher and Christina Aguilera in the same movie? You get Burlesque, which is really the old story of a small town girl who goes to the big city to live out her dreams.

Love and Other Drugs
That little blue pill makes it to the big time. Well, sort of. This movie is based on Jamie Reidy’s book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman and stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. There has been some Oscar buzz about this film. Of course, what’s next, a film about penicillin? Aspirin? Castor oil, even? Scratch castor oil. I don’t think the powers that be would swallow that.

Tangled
Leave it to Disney to put out an animated film for the holidays.  This film is a retelling of the Rapunzel tale whereby, the princess leaves the castle to hang with bandit Flynn Rider. This film features the voices of Amanda Moore, Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy.

December 2010

Black Swan
Yes, those posters with Natalie Portman have been all over the Internet. Soon the actual movie will come out and it is about a ballet dancer, Portman who starts a relationship with a new dancer in the troupe, only to find her position in the troupe will be changing just as a production of Swan Lake comes up. Yes, that doesn’t sound like much, still the movie hasn’t come out yet, so let’s wait and see how it turns out.

Tron Legacy
This is another Disney production for the holidays. I saw Tron when it came out in movie theaters in 1982 and it was a sight to see. The use of computer animation was brilliant and groundbreaking. The trouble was I was so lost in the visuals that I briefly forgot what the movie was about. I soon remembered and continued enjoying myself. Well, not only is computer animation much more advanced in 2010, making this a must see movie, but Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner are back in their original roles. If I go to see this movie, I’ll be sure to pay closer attention, since the visuals are expected to be so much better this time around.

Gulliver’s Travels
It was bound to happen, Jack Black taking on a classic of English literature and the classic is none other Jonathan Swift’s satire Gulliver’s Travels. Black is Lemuel Gulliver and CGI helps with everything else. Black was great in School of Rock and I won’t be surprised if he will be just as good in Gulliver’s Travels.

So, there you have it. A little taste of what’s coming up for the holiday movie season. If you want more information go to:

http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1126/2010-holiday-movie-guide

Source:
http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1126/2010-holiday-movie-guide