The Sundance Institute announced the initial wave of narrative films and documentaries for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival today and it features one of the more star-studded competition lineups in the film's history.
We've reached a critical phase of the season, Oscar watchers. We're not talking about the shortened shopping season or families reuniting across the country for the holidays. No, Hollywood is heading into the high season. A time when we stop talking about who's going to get a nomination and who's going to actually win.
It's hard to believe that the Coen Bros.' "Inside Llewyn Davis" debuted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival over six months ago. Now, after numerous festival screenings and events, its theatrical release is finally around the corner. Sure, it won't be anywhere near nationwide yet, but Coens fans will take it.
Any publicity expert will tell you that if you need to announce bad news, the best day to do it is when no one is paying attention. That's often why Hollywood studios and networks time cancellations, firings, er, "transitions" and negative news late Friday afternoon or evening Los Angeles time. East Coast media and investors are out partying the night away and their West Coast equivalents are likely on their way out of the office. It's no surprise then, that Universal Pictures revealed some big release date changes on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving when most people are traveling home for the holiday weekend.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" torched the box office last weekend and has already grossed over $186 million. That was pretty much expected based on the franchise's fan base and the strength of the first film in the franchise, 2012's "The Hunger Games." What had to be a happy surprise to Lionsgate and director Francis Lawrence were some of the glowing reviews the film has received. Some pundits even throwing out that "Catching Fire" is so good it's the best sequel since "Empire Strikes Back." OK, the HitFix team thinks it's a really good flick, but let's not get crazy here people. "Catching Fire" isn't destined to make most critic's best of year lists. Obviously, "Catching Fire" isn't aiming for Oscars (or maybe it is?), but as pure old-fashioned cinematic entertainment it features more than enough obvious highlights and lowlights to wax on. And, yes, we can't wait for "Mockingjay, Pt. 1" either.
Poor Margo Martindale. On a brisk Sunday morning in New York, the Emmy Award winner was paired with Oscar winner Chris Cooper to discuss their impressive performances in John Wells' big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' acclaimed stage play "August: Osage County." Both actors have outside chances at best supporting Oscar nominations and, of course, what do I want to talk about? All I want to do is ask Martindale questions about a television show she isn't "officially" a regular guest star on anymore, "The Americans."
LOS ANGELES — If you've ever met Lee Daniels or seen an interview with him, you'd quickly ascertain that the director of "Precious" and "The Butler" is his own force of nature. He has a charisma and passion that has helped fuel his success as a filmmaker. So, to be fair, only a true diva could upstage him and especially on a night he's receiving a prestigious lifetime achievement award.
Enter Jane Fonda.
It's been a little over a year since the "Twilight" saga said goodbye with the final chapter, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2." In the 12 months since Hollywood just hasn't been the same. Studios have tried to recreate the screaming tween magic with numerous faux franchises such as "The Host" and "Mortal Instruments," but moviegoers just won't have it. Sure, there's "Hunger Games" and potential future players like "Divergent" and "The Maze Runner," but where is our pop culture phenomenon to fill the "Twilight" void?
LOS ANGELES - Can you imagine how hard it is to keep topping yourself on the red carpet when you're literally "the girl on fire"? Somehow Jennifer Lawrence managed to do it again as jaws dropped when she appeared in a gorgeous see-thru swimsuit-esque dress at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Monday night.
When it comes to "gay" TV shows, I tend to keep my expectations low. Lord knows there are more than enough gay men and women working in Hollywood today ( just behind the camera, of course) so you'd think we'd have a long line of quality shows to look back upon. Sadly, that hasn't been the case. There have been lots of well written and wonderfully conceived gay characters, but specific TV shows? Not so much.