Hugh Jackman

Catching Up: A Few Great Performances From This Year So Far

Posted by Matthew on September 28, 2017
Editorial, Movies / Comments Off on Catching Up: A Few Great Performances From This Year So Far

Despite having the lowest summer box office in over a decade 2017 has been a great year for movies. It’s actually hard to believe that the box office has been so bad given just how many great movies have come out. It’s almost like the a glut of sequels and remakes combines with going to the movies being a kind of shitty experience is starting to take a toll. Or everyone spent the summer outside. You never know.

In any event, since I haven’t been writing reviews as diligently as I should (read: at all) I’d like to present you a few performances from this year in roughly chronological order that are worth of both your time and hefty amounts of praise. Mild spoilers for all films discussed.

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‘Chappie’ Trailer: A Child Who Happens To Be A Robot

Posted by Matthew on November 04, 2014
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Chappie

Neill Blomkamps next film is about a child that happens to be a robot who, as a possible next stage in AI evolution, scares the crap out of people.

Sure, I’m down for that. Lets take a look.

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‘Chappie’ Poster: Neill Blomkamp’s Latest Robot

Posted by Matthew on November 03, 2014
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Chappie

Neil Blomkamp has two major movies under his belt, the amazing District 9 and the pretty good but visually spectacular Elysium. Next year we get his third film, Chappie, also starring Sharlto Copley along with Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, and Sigourney Weaver.

Details have been locked up tight but today Sony tweeted out this shiny poster giving us look one at Chappie himself (a reject looking robot wearing bling. I like it.) and tomorrow there will be a trailer. No idea what to expect but somehow I think that marking 6th March on the ol’ calendar is a pretty safe bet.

(source: Twitter)

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Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Posted by Simon on May 23, 2014
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on Review: X-Men: Days Of Future Past

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-banner

The latest X-Men film is a spectacular affair, a high-budget and frequently hilarious reassertion of the franchise after the dreadful X3: The Last Stand and Wolverine movies. It features all the most popular members of the group kicking ass in glorious action sequences that might be some of the best you’ll see this year and even makes room for a few fantastic new mutants. The narrative is good, if a little exposition-heavy upfront, and the pace is great. So it’s a real shame that, even with all these perfect elements, the film’s story makes such a dull thud. The problem isn’t that  it’s badly told, it’s just that there’s not been any attempt to evolve the narrative threads that have been present since the first X-men film from 2000. It’s the same old story; a fight between Professor X’s peaceful integration and Magneto’s warlike assertion of mutant superiority, and after the fourth time it has lost its surprise and effect.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past: We Gotta Get The Band Back Together!

Posted by Matthew on April 16, 2014
Trailers / 2 Comments

X-Men: Days of Future Past

There’s finally a full trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past and, well, I have mixed feelings.

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More X-Men: Days of Future Past Posters

Posted by Matthew on April 04, 2014
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xmen-dofp-old-young-banner

The marketing machine is ramping up for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Here are a bunch of trailers which are… well some of them are good and some of them are awful. I’ll let you be the judge.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer + Poster

Posted by Matthew on March 24, 2014
Posters, Trailers / 2 Comments

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Today’s the day people, there is finally a full trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Let’s watch!

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X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer Needs You To Hope Again

Posted by Matthew on October 29, 2013
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X-Men: Days of Future Past

There’s a trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past! Let’s watch!

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Review: Prisoners

Posted by Matthew on September 30, 2013
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Prisoners

Ed. Note: I know this is really late, but I’m on holiday!

You’ve already seen the trailer for Prisoners so you already know the basic set up. Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello are best friends with Terrance Howard and Viola Davis On thanksgiving they share the evening together and the couples youngest children go outside to find a lost toy and never return. Paul Dano plays a simpleton named Alex who is the best suspect and is arrested by Jake Gyllenhaal but it quickly turns out that Alex doesn’t have the faculties to have committed such a crime and is released. Angry, desperate and searching for answers, Hugh Jackman kidnaps Paul Dano and proceeds to torture him for answers.

Turns out though that there is more going on. I’m going to talk in more detail after the jump and while I’m not going to directly spoil anything this is a mystery story so talking about it will give you clues. If you want to skip the review and know what I think? Yes, go see it. It’s good. It’s not perfect but it’s well thought out and incredibly well acted and beautifully shot. Details after the jump.

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Review: The Wolverine

Posted by Matthew on July 28, 2013
Movies, Reviews / 1 Comment

The Wolverine

Outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe the X-Men universe maintained by 20th Century Fox is tied for longest, and is probably the next best in terms of continuity, but over all the films have been incredibly hit or miss. We’ve had two truly great movies in X-Men: First Class and X2: X-Men United, a good movie in X-Men and two pretty terrible films in X-Men 3: the Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

So how does the latest entry stack up? Pretty good actually. Or mostly, anyway.

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Prisoners Trailer: Hugh Jackman Goes Crazy

Posted by Matthew on June 02, 2013
Trailers / 1 Comment

Prisoners

I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. Two children are missing and the desperate father will do anything to get them back.

However, Denis Villeneuve is a talented director (and Canadian!) and he’s made some pretty great films most of which tackle some pretty difficult subject matter (see: Incendies or Polytechnique).

He’s also managed to round up Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrance Howard, Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano and Melissa Leo, a pretty all star cast of award winners and nominees.

Let’s watch!

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Matt Watches Bad Movies: Movie 43

Posted by Matthew on April 28, 2013
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Movie 43

So I decided to start watching bad movies again and I figured a good place to start would be with a recent movie which had a funny as hell trailer but turned out to be pretty much the worst thing in the world. The films tagline is “once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it” and it’s true, just not in the way they intended.

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The Wolverine Trailer. It’s about time!

Posted by Matthew on March 27, 2013
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The Wolverine

Finally! A Trailer for The Wolverine:

Ok so we have Japan, getting his ass kicked, Logan kicking ass, and Logan fighting The Silver Samurai. Yup, I’m in.

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2013 Oscar Predictions

Posted by Matthew on February 24, 2013
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85th Academy Awards

The Oscars are later tonight and Simon and I will be live blogging them. Just for fun, I’m going to lock myself into a few predictions.

Sundry Categories

Without going into too much detail on these ones here are how I’d like to see a few of the categories with less fanfare to play out.

  • “Skyfall” to win Best Original Score.

It’s the only memorable one of the nominees.

  • “Skyfall” to win Best Original Song.

Best Bond Song in years and just a great song. Outside chance for Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted, but doubtful.

  • Roger Deakins to win Best Cinematography for “Skyfall”.

There’s lots of reasons to love Roger Deakins, but more to the point he’s never won the awards despite some brilliant work and Skyfall is a gorgeous film.

  • “Prometheus” for Best Visual Effects.

Prometheus is not a good film, but it’s a gorgeous film and the effects are seamless.

  • Animated Movies

I haven’t seen all the nominees for best Animated Feature, so I have no idea who will win. I have hoever seen all the nominees for Best Animated Short and I really hope that Paperman wins.

And now, on to the big ones.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Argo” – Chris Terrio
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – David Magee
  • “Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

I want to say Argo, but it will probably be Lincoln. In the battle between American heroism and America’s most beloved president, I think it’ll go to the president.

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
  • “Flight” – John Gatins
  • “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
  • “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal

Quentin Tarantino has to win this one. Django is almost entirely overlooked in the nominations, but there’s no denying the screenplay is the best this year. Tarantino’s dialogue is amazing as always. You can question his directorial choices but you can’t question how he writes.

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams – “The Master”
  • Sally Field – “Lincoln”
  • Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
  • Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
  • Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Are you kidding me? Anne Hathaway. Everyone here is great, I wish that Amy Adams will win because she is as amazing as everyone else in The Master, and also because I’d really like to see the Academy slightly embarrassed by having all the actors win while their movie nor director is nominated, but Anne Hathaway plays a hooker with a heart of gold, doing everything for her kid, with a debilitating disease, in an adaptation of a beloved stage musical.

Yeah, it’s Anne Hathaway’s year.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Alan Arkin – “Argo”
  • Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
  • Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
  • Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

No clear winner here. Everyone is amazing and everyone has won before. I don’t see Christoph Waltz winning since he did just a couple years back for a very similar role, I don’t see Robert De Niro winning because unlike Jennifer Lawrence (whose performance is elevated above the movie she is in) he’s good but not great.

Alan Arkin was great but also was how Alan Arkin always is.

So that leaves Tommy Lee Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d love to see Philip Seymour Hoffman win because he and Joaquin Phoenix are both spectacular in The Master, but Tommy Lee Jones I think might win for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t going to win his trophy.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
  • Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

Do we even have to talk about this? I’m pretty sure this is Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose as of this moment. Silver Linings Playbook may not be a great film however Jennifer Lawrence is great in it. She’s already been robbed once (have you seen winter’s Bone? She’s amazing) too so that pretty much locks it down.

So here’s hoping that Jessica Chastain wins next year, because Jennifer Lawrence is going to win this year.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
  • Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
  • Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
  • Denzel Washington – “Flight”

As with the Best Supporting Actor category there doesn’t seem to be a clear front runner here. Everyone did great. I was particularly surprised by Bradley Cooper who is getting better and better. However, I think it’s going to go to Hugh Jackman because say what you will about Les Mis, he acted the shit out of it.

It’s too bad too, because Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in The Master.

Best Director

  • “Amour” – Michael Haneke
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
  • “Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
  • “Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg
  • “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

Steven Spielberg. Honestly, of all the directors eligible to be nominated this year he’s the only one on this list that would also be on mine. Paul Thomas Anderson, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and Quentin Tarantino are all missing for the record.

Best Picture

  • “Argo”
  • “Django Unchained”
  • “Les Miserables”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Amour”
  • “Lincoln”
  • “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • “Zero Dark Thirty”
  • “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Argo has already won almost every major award there is in this category, including the Golden Globe, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and SAG awards. You know why? Because it’s a great film and it deserves to win.

It’s also the safest bet because unlike Zero Dark Thirty, which I think is a better movie, it’s a story about one man’s heroism and the Academy eats that up.

Outside chance for Les Miserables, but for all the fanfare at its release no one is talking about it anymore.

So, Argo it is.

Later tonight we’ll be live blogging the show so you can watch in real time to see how I did with my predictions then! In the mean time, do you guy have any predictions or movies you are pulling for to win?

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Screen Actors Guild Award Winners and Reactions

Posted by Matthew on January 29, 2013
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Screen Actors Guild Awards

The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were this past weekend. I know I’m a few days late but here’s a quick roundup of the winners for movies and some thoughts to go with them.

Note: I’m not going to talk about the TV awards, but the coles notes version is this: Hooray for Kevin Costner, Bryan Cranston and Alec Baldwin.

Winners shown in bold a the top of each list.
You can read the full list of winners here.

Screen Actors Guild 49th Annual Life Achievement Award

  • Dick Van Dyke

I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke movies my parents had recorded off the television so this makes me smile.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln as Abraham Lincoln
  • Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano
  • John Hawkes – The Sessions as Mark O’Brien
  • Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables as Jean Valjean
  • Denzel Washington – Flight as Whip Whitaker

This isn’t a surprise to me in the slightest. Say what you will about Lincoln but Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing playing the man. At this point I’d be surprised if he doesn’t win the Oscar.

It’s nice to see John Hawkes get the nod for The Sessions as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook as Tiffany Maxwell
  • Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty as Maya
  • Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone as Stéphanie
  • Helen Mirren – Hitchcock as Alma Reville
  • Naomi Watts – The Impossible as Maria Bennett

At this point Jennifer Lawrence has won the Golden Globe and the SAG award for playing Tiffany Maxwell. The Oscar is now hers to lose if it wasn’t already and I think that’s how it’s going to go. I’d love to see Jessica Chastain win because I preferred Zero Dark Thirty to Silver Linings Playbook and I think that Maya was a far more complex character to play, but Tiffany is exactly the kind of quirky, loveable, bird with a broken wing but still independent and strong, feel good, cliche character that people love.

That’s not to say Lawrence isn’t an amazing actress or that she wasn’t amazing in the film, because she was and this is one of those parts designed to win Oscars.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln as Thaddeus Stevens
  • Alan Arkin – Argo as Lester Siegel
  • Javier Bardem – Skyfall as Raoul Silva
  • Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano Sr.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master as Lancaster Dodd

Nice to see Tommy Lee Jones take home the trophy. Also cool to see Javier Bardem get the nod for his roll in Skyfall. He was brilliant as Silva and thats not the type of roll that usually gets recognized.

This is going to make the Oscar race in this category a little more interesting. Alan Arkin already took home the Golden Globe and everyone who’s nominated (swap out Javier Bardem for Christoph Waltz and its the same list) had already won to this one is anyone’s game.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables as Fantine
  • Sally Field – Lincoln as Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Helen Hunt – The Sessions as Cheryl Cohen-Greene
  • Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy as Charlotte Bless
  • Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as Muriel Donnelly

No surprises here. Anne Hathaway has already taken home all the awards for this role. If she doesn’t win all the awards that are left I will be incredibly surprised.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

  • Argo – Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, and Chris Messina
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton
  • Les Misérables – Isabelle Allen, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Huttlestone, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Tveit, Colm Wilkinson
  • Lincoln – Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn
  • Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anupam Kher, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver

In a year where Lincoln, a timely political story about America’s most beloved president came out I didn’t see this happening but Argo has now won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for best picture.

It’s well deserved. It’s a brilliantly crafted film from start to finish and I’m glad to see it getting all the recognition it deserves.

It’ll be interesting next month to see if it takes home the Oscar as well, since Ben Affleck isn’t nominated for best director. That might end up being this years big “wtf” moment.

Conclusions

Awards Season this year has been interesting so far. The films I thought would be a lock haven’t been winning and the ones I thought were entirely deserving but would get passed over have. The ladies categories are pretty much locked in for the Oscars at this point I assume, but the gentlemen’s categories as well as the best picture and director categories are up in the air as far as I can tell.

I like the SAG awards as well because you get films like Skyfall, which is a great film and completely overlooked by the Oscars and the Golden Globes, getting recognition from their peers. Make no mistake Skyfall was one of last years must-see movies but it’s no surprise that it’s only up for technical Oscars.

Make all the jokes you want about millionaires giving each other statues, but I enjoy watching great films win accolades (and Simon and I will be live blogging The Oscars on 24th Feb. while they air).

What are your guys thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with the wins here? How do you think the Oscars are going to play out?

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