Saturday, 13 October 2007

May he get his Oscar.

When it comes to the Oscar, most people do know that black actors not only have a struggle finding good roles, but also struggle then getting recognition. Then there is the added struggle of continuing to be recognized post nomination/win.
There have only been seven actors to have more than one nomination.
Whoopie Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Sidney Poitier, Will Smith, Djimon Hounsou and as much as I hate to say it…Jamie Foxx. Out of those seven only Denzel (five) and Morgan (four) have had more than two.
That is pretty disgraceful, especially for the Actresses (we all know that any Actress has a shitty time finding good roles in Hollywood, even worse if you are black).

With the news that Will Smith is starring in the Columbia Pictures drama Empire, which John Logan is writing for director Michael Mann, we may be able to add his name to the teeny tiny list.
Few details have been released on the plot, but Smith is said to be playing a contemporary global media mogul. Judging by his restrained performance in “The Pursuit of Happyness” he has finally honed his talent, and really become an actor.

The last time Smith and Mann worked together, he got himself his first Oscar nomination. It is a very likely scenario that he will get another for this, and to be honest, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

So…are there any black actors you feel should have been nominated, but instead got the big ole snub? Leave then in the comments. I will start with some I loved, and was disappointed did not make it (there are many more, but am hoping they make ‘em into the comments)

Jurnee Smollett, Debbi Morgan – “Eve’s Bayou” (pictured)
Taraji P. Henson – “Hustle and Flow”
Marlon Wayans – “Requiem for a Dream”
Morgan Freeman – “Nurse Betty”, “Se7en”
Alfre Woodard - "Passion Fish"

It's a thrill to be nominated!!

So The Rural Juror, that witty little hellion has been at the drink again. For some ungodly reason he has nominated me for a Blogger Star Award. I tip off my hat and bow at his foot. Should he wear rings I would kiss them.
I have actually never been nominated for anything since yearbook (Most Theatrical, Most Demented and Most Likely to be a 10 time Academy Award Looser) so I am all a fluster right now.

This award is for bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogosphere. Some do it with humor, others with creativity, and others with their kind and thoughtful natures. We all know more than a few of them so why not give them some recognition?

Here’s what to do if you receive this:

* Proudly display it on your blog along with a link to who gave it to you.
* Mention that it originated here at Skittles' Place so I can follow its journey.
* Pass it on to any blogger(s) you think should have it.

Well now I need to nominate five others who I would be lost without in the blogging world. These are people I visit everyday and if they miss a blogging day I have a small panic attack:

The Pathetically Normal, Pop Culture Obsessed Life Of Jose Well first up would have to be this one. Jose muses not only on Madonna, great pop music, movies and TV, but he often laments of the day to day struggle and triumphs of his life in San José, Costa Rica.

The Cellar Door not only boasts a great title, but is currently doing his 100 favourite films. He is currently on no. 67. I am very much looking forward to seeing what is no. 1. OH THE SUSPENCE!!

Strange Culture take a deeper and more thoughtful look at the world of movies and what they mean in the bigger scheme of things. Especially the violence in films…a trend I wish to see end.

If you love music and the discovery of the new you must go to Arjan Writes. From new discoveries to amazing remixes, this will keep your toe tapping and hands desperately typing to find the tracks for download. A big thank you for helping to exceed my iPod capacity Arjan!!

Deep down we are all complete gadget geeks. My favourite blog about new gadgets (with an Apple bias) is Between the Tweens. Everything from new software and gadgets are talked about as well as anything visually arresting that is created by new technology. For the geek in us all.

Hope you all win.............

Friday, 12 October 2007

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Best Actress Updates

Not much going on right now, but I had to update Best Actress. Something has been nothering me greatly.
Since 1990 there has only been one year (1994) where there is not a first time nominee in the mix. So why should it change now?
Out of all the buzz worthy candidates, there seems to only be Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard.. One of them should make it.

I predict (right now anyway) both!

My Best Actress Preditcions

The "Valkyrie" hype machine begins

Well, what can I say. This sounds like instant Oscar bait, and actually looks pretty good, especially with the talented Singer aboard for directing duties……
……..Tom Cruise.....yes….the closeted midget sports an eye patch, but will he do an accent? He is surrounded by brilliant British theps who no doubt can speak with a German lilt in their sleep, but can he….or will he end up sounding like some overly lispy steriotype?

We all knew from the beginning that this film is all going to be about the Cruise. A shame as I bet the Academy are itching to reward Nighy, Fry and Izzard (just for the acceptance speeches alone) as well as welcome back previous nominees Branagh, Stamp and Wilkinson.

Lets hope these overly talented men get their due, and the extremely talented Carice van Houten get to be more than a soppy love interest.

I think I am in LOVE!

Not only was Robyn's first single stellar (it get played to death on the radio over here and I have yet to tire of it) but I am Loving the second one too. Will have to give the ole album a listen now.

Here is the first video "With Every Heart Beat" and the second "Handle Me" And funny that...they sound different!! you like?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Will work for good movies

The news that Universal has bumped George Clooney’s period football pic "Leatherheads" into next year to give injured director-star George Clooney time to incorporate additional footage and honor previous commitments rings a little untrue.
With the highly likely news that there will be a major strike from not only the WGA, but also SAG (that is the Writers Guild and Actors Guild) Hollywood must be in panic mode.
The reason for the strike is that both unions’ contracts with the major studios are drawing to a close, and the writers and actors are wanting more moola in their deals, and of course the studios are not wanting to budge.

Why should we all care about this? Well for us movie fans, it could mean that 2009 will a barren wasteland for movies, or at least good movies.
The WGA’s contract ends on October 31st, 2007, so no scripts will get written after this date without guilds approval. For the actors that date is June 30th, 2008 before the strike begins.
Studios are now desperately buying up the rights to anything and everything so that they can get the films into production before March 2008 to have them finished before the contracts end.

There must be immense pressure on star names to make hast decisions when it comes to what to do next. Studios also will rush movies to be made. Both of these outcomes could damage a studio and an actors reputation. A movie is something that should never be rushed, it need care and attention to be a success, but the studios will not think of this.
Actors on the other hand will rush making a decision and end up miscast, or worse yet, giving a half focused performance. Nicole Kidman has four films in various stages of production, all slated for 2008/2009 release. I am sure there will be more added. She is a wonderful example of an actor who at times appears to be stretched too thin to give their all to their characters.

Films like “Leatherheads” and “Stop Loss” have been pushed to 2008.
The hotly Anticipated “Revolutionary Road” (pictured) is currently in post production, and could be finished in time for this years Awards race, but this is unlikely.
The Studios need these movies for Oscar 2009 and they know it. I would not be surprised to see more films being pushed back for a late 2008 release.

There is some hope though. It is a scenario that actually excites me. With the big studios potentially having a sparse slate for 2009, this gives smaller, more interesting films the chance to get their head to the surface and take a big breath, which could lead to better films being made. Here is hoping the need for a post strike pay cheque can lead to writers pushing out fantastic original screenplays in time for the bidding war. Nothing is more inspirational in Hollywood than money remember.

Should have been HUGE!!

Leona Naess - Charm Attack

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

The Best Actress race.



For all of you who are wondering how old is this young looking stud muffin is, I will let ani tell you.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Should have been HUGE!!

Starsailor - Silence is Easy.

Starsailor - Born Again.

Internationally shoulda ruled

Is there any one out there??!!

Just went over to Box Office Mojo to have a look at the figures for the weekend (a big “Oh Dear” for “The Heartbreak Kid”) and noticed to my complete surprise that not one single film in the top 16 has broken $50 mil.

What is going on? I expected “The Brave One”, “3:10 to Yuma” and even “Resident Evil: Extinction” to have passed by.
Is no one going to the movies anymore?
Has the summer block buster dash worn everyone else, and we are all home with our Net Flix and Love Film?
And what of the cinema space. Obviously it is not getting used? Can we shelter homeless kids for a few weeks? Feed then on slushies and popcorn for a few days before sending them back out in time for the awards movies to bring back the punters.

This is not the first time, and this will not be the last time I will say this: “Hollywood….CAN YOU HEAR ME????? MAKE BETTER MOVIES!!!!”

Now I will continue with my mindless rant.

You kind of have to wonder what on earth possessed the studio to make a third “Resident Evil” film. Considering the trilogy has only managed an average score on rotten tomatoes of 27% good reviews.
Why throw money? Ok so they have made money, but you still have to wonder at the desperation of these executives. I can see the conversations now.
Executive 1: “Ok…we have nothing new and original to make and we need it to make money.”
Executive 2: “How about taught political thriller criticizing the President?”
Executive 1: “We need to make money”
Executive 2: “Care Bears the movie, but make it, like, live action and train and dip dye some polar bears? We could get ‘em to talk like in “Babe”!!”
Executive 1: “Better, but it could be costly, and we would have to pay off environmental and animal rights groups. We need to MAKE money”
Executive 2: “Resident Evil 3? Won’t cost much to make and idiots will flock to see it, plus Milla has been waiting in reception since 2 came out.”
Executive 1: “Brilliant”

I am not knocking “Resident Evil” really as I have never ever seen one, but you have to wonder just how soulless these studios are.
You either get crap movies, aimed for summer time or after Oscars, or you get the good movies which are only being made so that they can win an Oscar.
Even some documentary film makers must think “This could win me an Oscar….that I can make that Care Bears movie and make millions!!!”.
Then there are films that are made, that are great, but have no hope in hell in making it to the big awards race.

Two such films that I have in mind are done by the same director. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Shortbus”.
John Cameron Mitchell must have known Awards glory for these films would be limited, but they were still made and both have a rapturous following.
“Hedwig” didn’t even make back it’s $6 million production budget in world wide ticket sales. (however “Shortbus” did make it back 2.5 times. YAY!!)
These two films were obviously made out of love, and look at the results.

You can always tell when a movie is made that has no hope for awards glory or box office success, but is made out of the film makers love for the story and the art of film making.
Once you stop worrying about box office receipts you can free yourself to make great movies. You can always spot the movies which are carefully crafted and nurtured. These are the movies that do not have predestined box office glory, or a high awards caliber. These are personal movies that come from the film makers need for creativity. When you are allowed to express this creativity, on a small budget, you can create wonders.

Can anyone say that “Transformers” was more visually stunning because of the 150 million throw at it’s production than these movies?
“Donnie Darko”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “The Fountain”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”?

Thought not.

The production budget for all four of these films only added up to two thirds of “Transformers”. See what happens when you do not have a lot of resources to work with…Art.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Everyone loves George.

Clooney that is…not Bush.

The man is Hollywood royalty, a sex symbol, a very capable actor and a humanitarian. Yes…I too really like George Clooney, not love yet, but that could all change.
I am planning on finally seeing “Michael Clayton” this week. I was putting it off because I honestly thought it would not make much of a mark on the Awards race and I could wait for it on DVD and watch in the comfort of my own living room.
But this is no longer the case. I will have to take my George like to the big screen and test out my theories of love.

Why no love yet you ask? Well this is because I have yet to be really impressed by his acting. He has yet to have that sit-up-and-take-notice affect on me. Sure he is pretty to look at, but I am still waiting for the pretty boy to show me more (can also say the same for Brad Pitt).

However, as he becomes more and more involved with humanitarian causes, my like swells up. Also he has been able to keep his personal life out of the tabloids which I greatly admire, very old school Hollywood of him.
I guess he knows that staying out of the spot light with your personal life is the only way to survive in Hollywood. Something the younger generation should take notes on.

Anywho…George will officially move up from number 15 to number 6 on my predictions

What are the chances for “The Kite Runner”?

When a much beloved book gets the movie screenplay treatment there are usually a lot of questions. Will the movie talent involved be able to transfer the story to the big screen? Will too much from the book get cut out? Should it be done at all?

With “The Kite Runner” there are these, plus a whole lot more.
The movie tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is haunted by the guilt of betraying his childhood friend Hassan, the son of his father's servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.
Right from those words there will be detractors for the film. People do not want to see the humanity of their ‘enemy’, and will dismiss what the film is saying. It is easier to hate a people when you only know of the evil few.

Added to this you have a cast of unknowns. Do people want to see a film if they do not have Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman to gaze upon?

Then you have the films biggest hurdle. Child rape. This is one of the ugliest sides of the human race, yet it happens. We would all like to stick our heads in the sand and not deal with the ugly, but it is there, and we need to eventually breath.
The family of the young actor is concerned that the inclusion of the rape scene will result in torment for the young actor by his schoolmates and other Afghans.
There was pressure to cut the scene, but it is what the entire story is based around and the film would fall apart without it.
Marc Forster is a very capable (and rather dishy) director, and I doubt he will give into threats and pressure. The film, if it gets seen, should bring a much needed voice to the Afghan people.

Advance word is very positive, but the film needs raves and I mean shout to the high heaven raves to even make a blip on the awards race.
Basically this film is going to have to be twice as good as all the others to be considered worthy. It is going to need decent ($50 mil) box office and some precursor attention, plus a celebrity endorsement (come on Oprah…this is right up your alley).
In other words, no matter how good the movie is, it will need a lot of outside attention-seeking bells and whistles.

Should have been HUGE!!

Emiliana Torrini - Sunny Road

Oh sniff sob sniff

"Lake of Fire" - Trailer

This will be powerful stuff, as well as controversial.
No matter what the intention of the film makers, religious fanatics never come across as sane.
I have my own opinions (as a man...which doesn't really count) about abortion. Use a condom, insist on it, but if an accident happens then it is a womans right to choose.

Anywho, here is the trailer.....wonder how the Academy will feel about this? IF they hate it they always have "Juno" to embrace.