Tom Hanks has been out and about plenty this week promoting today's release of "Cloud Atlas." I caught him on Letterman earlier this week, wonderful as ever, the perfect salesman. And yesterday, he showed up at "The Colbert Report" to engage in a little Halloween sketch built around that salesmanship.
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Before you laugh, I want you to consider how long Drafthouse Films has even existed.
The company was formed to get the Chris Morris dark comedy 'Four Lions" into theaters, and since then, they've picked up less than 20 films. They're still defining their identity, but even so, last year, they were able to help steer the Belgian film "Bullhead" to a Best Foreign Language Picture nomination at the Oscars. They are a fledgling company, and it's not like "Bullhead" was an easy sell from an established artist with a big permanent fanbase. It was a debut film, and it was about the seedy underworld of steroid trading and treatment in the cattle industry. Not the sort of thing that seems at first description like an awards contender.
With "Miami Connection," Drafthouse Films is rescuing a long-lost musical action inspirational family drama with kung-fu in it, and they're preparing to unleash this forgotten masterpiece on audiences. If you're interested in demanding a local screening for yourself, you can do so through Tugg, and then you can also check to see if they've got the film scheduled to roll out in your area on the film's official website.
So, this happened. While testifying against Britney Spears, manager Sam Lufti revealed he and Courtney Love are working on a "possible motion picture or Broadway musical based on the Nirvana catalogue, based on her life and Kurt Cobain's." It's not a huge leap of logic, as musicians ranging from Green Day to ABBA have all gotten their very own musicals. Still, given Cobain's fears about selling out, this could be problematic at best, and we're a little worried a musical about Kurt and Courtney will come across like "Sid and Nancy" with songs.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other acts out there deserving of the Great White Way treatment. Or, if not deserving, maybe they're car wrecks we wouldn't mind seeing. In any case, some existing musicals could even be tweaked slightly to squeeze in a star or two, so development would be a snap! Here are a few suggestions. Producers, take notes!
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
I accidentally neglected to mention the Hollywood Film Awards in yesterday's roundup. There may be much skepticism in the blogosphere as to their credibility, but like it or not, they are an awards show at the start of the season -- and we can expect to see a lot more of certain honorees in the months to come. Of course, the winners had all been announced beforehand: "Silver Linings Playbook" was a favorite of theirs, taking directing honors for David O. Russell, while Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro were named actor and supporting actor of the year, respectively. Others winners included Marion Cotillard, Amy Adams and Quvenzhané Wallis -- but by the time "Django Unchained" wins for its screenplay, when no one's yet had a chance to see how the script works on film, you get why they're not taken too seriously. As usual, Scott Feinberg is the go-to man on this subject. [The Race]
I want to meet Chris Morgan.
Perfect world, we could sit down over the refreshment of our choice and we could talk about Conan. Specifically, we could talk about "Conan The Barbarian," the 1982 film that Universal released, directed by John Milius and written by Milius and Oliver Stone. That film was one of the things that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a viable movie star. Before that, he was known for a few quirky appearances in film like "Stay Hungry," his charismatic appearance in "Pumping Iron," and his bodybuilding triumphs. But "Conan The Barbarian" changed things for him, and its reputation has grown over time.
I've loved the film since opening weekend, and I love running into a hardcore fan of the film. You know you've found a kindred soul when you can ask, "What is good in life?" and someone answers without hesitation, "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." And based on the story that Deadline reported earlier this afternoon, Chris Morgan may be one of those people.
With the November 1 eligibility due date looming around the corner, it's time to really dig in on the Best Animated Feature Film category. Currently there are 16 titles assumed eligible for the award, which has been dished out at the annual Oscars for 11 years now. And that 12-year history has shown an interesting progression for the category.
The rise of GKIDS in the indie sector has shaken this race up a bit as of late, seemingly giving animators the artistic alternatives that they don't always get out of the commercial lot. The dirty little secret about the animated feature category is that it was, long before the Best Picture category's facelift, the first real step the Academy made toward allowing space for commercial films and therefore providing general audiences a better sense of accessibility to the annual Oscarcast.
But over time the category has naturally evolved, all the way up until just last year, when the studios were up against it as Pixar was shut out after winning the award four years in a row, two indie titles faced off against two traditional animation house films (from the same studio, in fact) and the win went to an in-house gem that came from a non-animator filmmaker who made his name in live action.
Though I had initially thought Elena's transition into vampiredom would be pretty easy -- she knows the right people, for crying out loud -- I'm beginning to have my doubts. The girl who spent so much time in previous seasons either being depressed or guilty or suffering over some fresh nightmare now has a new lease on life (or unlife, I guess) and it's not going so well. Vampires feel everything more strongly than mere mortals do -- and it was only a matter of time before all the big, bad feelings Elena was supressing came bubbling to the surface like black goo in the LaBrea Tar Pits. This week, Elena gets to do battle with her anger, which she was too nice to get out of her system back when it could have been neatly handled with a visit to the local gun rage or a good jog. No, now Elena has bloodlust and a taste for murder to deal with, and it's just a whole lot messier.
A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I get a chicken parm and watch "Blade Runner"...
A review of tonight's "Last Resort" coming up just as soon as they have rodeos in France...