Jai Courtney should be feeling pretty good at the moment. His latest film, "Terminator Genysis," looks like it's going to have a strong opening over the Fourth of July holiday and "should" be the fourth $100 million grosser of his career. Not bad considering he's only made 10 films over the course of his short career. Still, as we began to talk about "Genysis," where he takes over the role of Kyle Reese, the 29-year-old Aussie could not stop touching his strangely shaven beard.
Nicole Kidman could have taken her career in a number of different directions, but after dipping her toe in some studio misfires in the mid-2000's she continues to make daring choices that many other actors with her notoriety would shy away from. In the past two years she's starred in the polarizing "Stoker," the art house hit "The Railway Man," took on "Grace of Monaco" (a film that had a dramatically different original screenplay), made kids tremble as the villain in the family blockbuster "Paddington" and played Gertrude Bell in Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert" which debuted at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival.
But, wait. There's more.
Did you know that Steve Jobs was a difficult, dramatic marketing genius who refused to acknowledge his daughter for a good chunk of her life? That's the main takeaway from the full trailer for Danny Boyle's "Steve Jobs" which you can view at the top of this post. Granted, it's just a preview, but Aaron Sorkin's screenplay doesn't seem to depict the Apple co-founder in the best light.
For someone who had recently injured her hip and found herself spending most of the day sitting in a slightly uncomfortable folding chair Emilia Clarke was in quite a fine mood last Friday. The 28-year-old actress is best known for playing the very serious Daenerys Targaryen (aka "Mother of Dragons") in "Game of Thrones," but in person she turned out to be one of the most engaging and energetic actors this reporter has sat down with in years.
Remaking a classic foreign film can make any true movie fan shudder. What's the point if original was so good in the first place? Remaking a recent Academy Award winner for Foreign Language Film is almost worse. After STX Entertainment released the first trailer for the Hollywood version of "The Secret in Their Eyes" we may have have to reconsider those initial judgements.
It's sort of crazy to think that Josh Hutcherson is still only 22-year-old. The Kentucky native has already been a centerpiece of two major studio franchises ("Journey" and "The Hunger Games"), appeared in a Best Picture nominee ("The Kids Are All Right"), starred in an unnecessary remake ("Red Dawn"), voiced a major character in an animated release ("Epic") and starred in two classic family films ("Bridge to Terabithia" and "Zathura"). His four-year journey as Peeta comes to an end this November, but Hutcherson is actually spreading his wings into his first real adult role this weekend with "Escobar: Paradise Lost."
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go.
Remember all those people who were clamoring for the Academy to go back to the good ol’ days? When there were just five Best Picture nominees? Yeah, that’s not happening.*
Sequels are never easy, especially in animation. Even with all the success Pixar has enjoyed with the “Toy Story” franchise there are few who felt the follow ups to “Cars” and “Monsters, Inc” lived up to even the conceptual charm of the originals. DreamWorks Animation pulled off rare successes with “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” but let’s avoid diving into the unnecessary chapters of the “Madagascar” universe, shall we? And as for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky’s “Ice Age” series, those three sequels are almost the textbooks for fashioning strict consumer product just to sell tickets. The pitfalls of making a spin-off without creative justification is what Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment hoped to avoid with their new “Despicable Me” prequel, “Minions,” and they mostly succeeded.
Apologies if this sounds forward, but the race for Best Animated Picture is over. Pixar’s “Inside Out,” the company’s first original production since 2012’s “Brave,” arrives in theaters today with some of the most glowing reviews in the company’s history. For anyone else in the animated Oscar race that’s very bad news.