The fifth annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards were held Tuesday night at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. "Birdman" composer Antonio Sanchez walked away with top film honors while "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" also brought home awards.
Alexander Payne sticks to the real. Even with the biting satire of "Election," "Sideways’" melancholy sitcomisms, and the quirk "Nebraska," his films keep their feet on the ground. But there’s a high-concept side to Payne, a writer capable of penning "Jurassic Park 3" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry." We’ll see those skills put to good use when his percolating script "Downsizing" finally comes to fruition with one of Hollywood’s most talented leading men.
"Nailed" haunts writer-director David O. Russell. A health care satire starring Jessica Biel suffering from a near-fatal nail gun shot to the head, the film went into production before "The Fighter" and imploded before making it through post-production. Russell moved on, for the clear better, but onlookers anxious for a taste of the writer’s sardonic humor kept wondering if the film would ever surface. Whether he was talking about "The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook" or "American Hustle," nearly ever interview steered towards "Nailed" out of due diligence. When our own Drew McWeeny spoke to Russell in 2011, he summed up the experience he was happy to distance himself from: "['Nailed'] was supposed to be a fresh page and comeback and it turned out to be disappointment, another notch on my belt in this business."
Fans would never see "Nailed." Or fans were resigned to never seeing "Nailed"… until now.
The around-the-corner 2014 AFI Festival is a cavalcade of awards contenders… with limited space. The films AFI selects are among the best of the best. But not everything fits. Not everything wants to fit. Example: As if to divert attention with its own, non-festival fanfare, The Weinstein Company’s "Big Eyes" will premiere at Los Angeles County Museum of Art "Film Independent" screening on on Thursday, Nov. 13 — the final night of AFI Fest.
Well this one is ready to burst. "Interstellar" is here — on film, anyway. Those eager to check it out in 35mm, 70mm or 70mm IMAX can do so now, with all formats blazing on Friday. We have chewed on it plenty around here. We've talked to Matthew McConaughey (with more to come). We've heard from Christopher Nolan. HitFix's Drew McWeeny was positive. After a second look, so was I, both of us with reservations. That seems to be the pattern with most responses.
Another day, another Steve Jobs casting rumor.
As Deadline first reported and the LA Times has confirmed, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" thesp Michael Fassbender is in "early talks" to star as the Apple co-founder in Sony's upcoming biopic, which previously flirted with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale for the role (it was reported just yesterday that Bale had turned down the part).
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the 20 films that have submitted for this season's best animated picture Oscar. The films in contention, if they qualify, include:
The screenplay races sort of go back and forth every couple of years as to which — original or adapted — is the most competitive. Typically the adapted field is tough to crack because it's full of Best Picture contenders leaping off best-sellers or historical tomes, but this year, the original race seems to be the most impenetrable for anything not bringing the absolute goods. Interesting.
Prepping for its Feb. 5, 2015 opening night, the Berlin Film Festival has named Darren Aronofsky its jury President. Despite never having a film play the Berlinale, the "Noah" director rides the good graces of Venice, Toronto, and Sundance to the head of the German fest’s table.
Before 43-year-old "Birdman" composer Antonio Sanchez met Alejandro González Iñárritu, director, he was a diehard fan of Alejandro Iñárritu, radio DJ. As a teenager growing up in Mexico City, 96.9 WFM, playing the “hippest music” in town, would accompany the music enthusiast’s drives to school. At night, he’d tune in to Iñárritu’s "Magic Nights" show, which Sanchez describes as “a little more daring" than the average radio programming. That was the first time he heard Pat Metheny’s "Last Train Home," a hazy guitar tune that wails with Latin jazz and funk sounds.
Flash forward to 2002 and Sanchez is a professional jazz drummer playing in the Pat Metheny Group.