A month after attending the world premiere of Chris Rock's "Top Five" at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, I still can't get it out of my head. I have not laughed louder or more often in a theater this year. "Top Five" is also the one movie from Toronto I cannot wait to see again. It's simply the truth.
A lot has happened since we last talked to composer Steven Price. This little movie he scored called "Gravity" took off with critics, audiences and the Academy and he walked away with an Oscar for his troubles. Now he's on David Ayer's bold WWII film "Fury," and once again, he's bringing a non-traditional touch to genre.
Oscar finally has a host, Neil Patrick Harris, but does she have a frontrunner yet? Not really.
This has been a curious awards season so far in terms of the Best Picture race. There are a number of potential contenders that could win it all, but even the films that have already screened such as "The Imitation Game," "The Theory of Everything," "Birdman" and "Boyhood" haven't really separated themselves from the pack (not yet, anyway). That will all change when Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" begins to screen for critics, pundits and the industry soon.
“I'd made it this far and refused to give up, because all my life, I had always finished the race," wrote American World War II POW and Olympic long-distance runner Louis Zamperini in his autobiography "Devil at My Heels." It's a powerful line considering Zamperini's tragic life story, one the new trailer for "Unbroken" boils down the quote Sean Parker-style to its punchiest (and slightly nonsensical) bit: "All my life I had always finished the race." Sure, that sounds inspirational.
I never pictured Ron Howard as much of a Roland Emmerich guy, but that's the unexpected spirit exploding off the trailer for his latest film, "In the Heart of the Sea." The film tells the true story the American whaleship "Essex" and its ill-fated run-in with a mighty sperm whale in November 1820. The story became the basis for Herman Melville's contemplative novel "Moby Dick." Howard's version of the story looks more like that time the Kraken ate Jack Sparrow, a beefed up, seafaring 'Apollo 13.' That's not bad thing.
Movies give Pontius Pilate a bad wrap. Yes, he gave the orders to crucify Jesus Christ. But check canonical Biblical writing and one finds a tinge of reluctance, a man of power caving under the peoples' demands. Plus, would we still be talking about God's Son if Pilate didn't off him in the grisliest way possible? Silver linings.
Former Tony and Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris is extending his emcee portfolio to the Oscars: he's tapped to host the 87th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22. Harris confirmed the news via Twitter like only he could...
"We all have the sense of Stephen Hawking, the icon," Eddie Redmayne says in an explanatory video for the science-minded biopic, "The Theory of Everything." What fewer people know, according to the Best Actor candidate, is the life before Hawking published "A Brief History of Time" catapulted the wheelchair-bound scientist to mainstream fame. For instance, Redmayne was not aware that Hawking's motor neuron disease only began inhibiting him while pursuing a doctorate in his twenties. We forgive you, Eddie — mostly because there's even more to discover in "Theory of Everything" than the straight-forward facts.
SANTA MONICA — Jake Gyllenhaal continues to move into an interesting stage in his career. His choices as of late have been outside the box, almost like the actor is searching for something. And indeed, spend a few minutes talking specifics with him, you'll quickly learn that's the case. He's marching to his own drum, eager to explore complexity in his performances, not just wear another character's skin for a little while.
And the other shoe drops on AFI Fest's major galas as Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" has been announced as this year's centerpiece. The film will be presented at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Nov. 8, and the festival will also feature a conversation with Paul Thomas Anderson.