Monday, 28 February 2011
``Wow, this is quite surreal,'' Tan said on stage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood accepting his award.
``Our film is about a creature that nobody pays any attention to and it is wonderfully ironic.''
The win continues a strong tradition for Australians in the category, with Adam Elliot's claymation short animated film Harvie Krumpet taking out the Oscar in 2005. Although Hollywood star Nicole Kidman and underdog Jacki Weaver both lost out in their respective categories, Aussies had plenty to celebrate with British-Australian co-production The King's Speech taking the top honours for best picture, best actor for Colin Firth and best director for Tom Hooper. Geoffrey Rush may have lost to Christian Bale in the best supporting actor category, but the veteran Australian actor still had the opportunity to get up on stage and collect the best picture award for The King's Speech, which he shared with several other producers including Aussie Emile Sherman.
(Above) Ok, yeah, I know she didn’t win an Oscar but Scar Jo looked so darn hot how could I NOT include this pic? My fave outfits with Sacr Jo, Mila Kunis, Cate Blanchett, Mandy Moore and Natalie Portman.
Other Australians to win at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were Kirk Baxter in the editing category for The Social Network and make-up artist Dave Elsey for his work on The Wolfman. Ben Snow and Joe Farrell missed out on the award for Visual Effects for Iron Man 2 and Hereafter respectively. Fan favourite Natalie Portman won the best actress award for Black Swan, giving a tearful acceptance speech, with The Fighter's Melissa Leo claiming best supporting actress.
Actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco took over the hosting duties from Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin last year, but the online community was not happy with their performance. Twitter was flooded with negative comments about the duo, calling for British comedian Ricky Gervais to host in 2012 after his notorious Golden Globes performance.
``Natalie Portman man, this is her year. She's come out with Black Swan and she's in like three other movies this year. I think that she's just shining right now. I'm really proud of her and I wish her well. Plus, she did she did a damn good job in Black Swan.''
Callan McAuliffe, Actor
``How To Train Your Dragon was my favourite film of 2010, I love it and I hope it wins the animation category. I saw True Grit and I want it to win something, it was great, and Inception, which was amazing. I think both of those two deserve an award.''
Stephen Frears, Filmmaker
``Surely Colin (Firth) will win. That's what everyone seems to think. I'm not really too good at guessing those sorts of things.''
Oliver Ackland, Actor
``I think Christian Bale for best supporting actor, but I'm not so sure for best actor, I'll leave that up in air. I'm a big fan of Christian Bale, he deserves to win every time around. It's nuts that this is only his first nomination, it doesn't make any sense. I really like Inception, but I think something like The King's Speech will probably get up.''
``I just saw Winter's Bone the other day and that was a really great film. That actress, Jennifer Lawrence, is young and just getting into it, but it's so great that movie can be a part of the Oscars.''
John Cameron Mitchell, Filmmaker and Actor
``I have a mechanism when my film is out or up for award that I have to tune everything out, I get to crazy. But I'm cheering for Nicole. It's just the perfect role for her and one of her best performances to date.''
Damian Walshe-Howling, Actor The former Underbelly actor and star of shark thriller The Reef has his fingers crossed for one of the few Australians in the field:
``I just hope Jacki (Weaver) as the underdog takes the prize. It's such as such an amazing performance and Animal Kingdom is such an amazing film. I love that she's so down to Earth. The other day I read a quote from her in the paper where they were asking her about her chances and she said ``I feel like a Shetland at the Melbourne Cup.'' I think that's so wonderful. She's taking it in her stride and I would love an Australian film to take an Oscar, but just to get there is great. Also Christian Bale in The Fighter was sensational. That role, I just can't fault it at all.''
Sunday, 27 February 2011
``I like to keep focus on what has already happened and I'm delighted just to have 12 nominations,'' he says.
``There's a lot to celebrate in that.''
The film's star, Colin Firth, looks set to have plenty to celebrate at the Oscars after party. Bookies have him as the shortest-priced favourite in Oscars history. Best actress honours are also likely to be a sure thing, with Natalie Portman (Black Swan) at 1/10 and Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) at 5/1. Unfortunately, Australian nominees Nicole Kidman (best actress, 66/1) and Jacki Weaver (best supporting actress, 66/1) are outsiders, while Geoffrey Rush (best supporting actor, 3/1) trails hot favourite Christian Bale (1/5).
The Australian with the best chance of climbing the podium to make an acceptance speech is film editor Kirk Baxter, whose editing work on The Social Network has him at 1/5, with his main rivals 127 Hours and The King's Speech at 6/1. Other Australians nominated for Oscars include producer Emile Sherman (The King's Speech), animated short film director Shaun Tan (The Lost Thing) and visual effects gurus Ben Snow (Iron Man 2) and Joe Farrell (Hereafter).
In a year in which the favourites are tipped to triumph, the best director category is shaping up as the closest thing to a nail-biter. Christopher Nolan's (Inception) controversial absence in the best director category has left Hooper (The King's Speech) and David Fincher (The Social Network) in the Oscar's closest race at 7/4 and 21/50 respectively. Who would have thought a film that looks exactly like Oscar bait a bullied Brit overcomes adversity while his knowing and unconventional mentor looks on would turn out to be just that? Well, besides everyone.
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards screen Monday from 9am on Pay TV's Starpicsth1 and from 9.40pm on Nine and NBN.
Friday, 25 February 2011
``We had one guy call up who had seen it 36 times all around the world and he wanted to bring a big group of people, as long as it was a special screening,'' he said.
``We've run test screenings of the print and we've absolutely tweaked it, it's going to be sensational.
``You'll never hear Rocky Horror like you will hear it on the night.''
Mr Robinson said staff will also be handing out goodie bags, full of props from the film such as water pistols, toast, confetti and newspaper umbrellas. Frank-N-Furter fan Kyle Mitchell said his favourite aspect of the film was its ``rebelliousness'.
``It's randomly funny and I can understand why it was such a huge cult hit,'' agrees Columbia fan Natasha Browne. Midnight screenings of the horror musical have been a phenomenon in America since the late seventies, with fans dressing up as their favourite characters from the film.(Above) Yes, that's me in the middle surrounded by a horde of lovely and dedicated Rocky Horror fans. I'm dressing up as Magenta tonight, so stay peeled for more pics ;o) Also, Movie Mazz readers might notice Riff Raff looks a lil' familiar. That's because he's upcoming actor Matt Scully, who I wrote here.
Bond University's Assistant Professor of Film and Television and cult film expert Scott Knight said the film's enduring popularity is due to its ``hyper-reality''.
``It's like the quintessential cult film,'' he said.
``It's hyper-real and everyone's having fun in the film and that translates off screen.
``It's a horror musical and has elements of melodrama, horror, comedy, musical, and it's a strange, outrageous combination of genres.
``It's pretty messy too, but with all those things thrown together it communicates this type of love that audiences for the last 35 years have latched on to.''
Knight said it’s also the technical aspects of the film, such as music and casting, that make it a classic.
“The music is one of the main reasons, it’s so memorable with Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite and Touch A Touch A Touch Me.
“And the just absolutely down on the on the money casting with Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as the couple, which is a big deal for the director, and then to get those performances right for that melodramatic tone . . .
“It’s sort of non-threatening too. There’s alternate lifestyles represented in the film, with the queerness and all the drag, but straight audiences aren’t threatened by that.
“Whereas if you started talking about transsexuals and transvestites in other films, audiences might go `oh, that’s not for me.”
The Rocky Horror Picture Show screens at Event Cinemas everywhere tonight with pre-show entertainment starts at 8pm, with the film playing at 9.30pm. Tickets are $20 at eventcinemas.com.au
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
I’m begging of you please don't take my man
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
Please don't take him just because I said you can
Your beauty is beyond compare
With golden locks of fine, blonde hair
With ivory skin and eyes blue like the sea
I’m questioning my wedding ring
See if you can get to my husband’s ding
I need to justify my fears of adultery
He missed his party, his lies are deep
A picture on his phone made me weep
It’s a shame your services don’t come cheap, Chloe
And I can easily understand
How he would stray from his hand
I’ve aged and not as youthful as you, Chloe
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
I’m begging of you please don't take my man
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
Please don't take him just because I said you can
But I’ve realised you're not into men
Even though your bat-shit crazy and
You throw yourself out of a window in the end, Chloe
I tried to have this talk with you
But you shagged my son Michael too
Seems there’s no one you won’t do, Chloe
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
I’m begging of you please don't take my man
Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe
Please don't take him even though you mad
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
His big break came during a 2009 holiday to LA when he landed the lead role in Flipped, written, directed and produced by industry heavyweight Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride, A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally, This Is Spinal Tap). After being called back to audition five times, McAuliffe said he ``didn't think they would want an Australian because of all the travel involved.'' He was wrong.
Not only did he get the part, but the role brought him to the attention of the I Am Number Four casting directors. With just one audition McAuliffe got the part and joined the cast with Pettyfer, Glee star Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant and fellow Aussie Teresa Palmer as alien number six.
``It was a fantastic experience,'' he said.
``I came from Flipped straight to I Am Number Four which was an extreme contrast.
``It was a multi-national cast with Alex being British and Dianna and Tim American.
``But having another Australian on set in Teresa was great because at least there was one person to laugh at my jokes.
"Americans, they just don't get our sense of humour, you know?
``She was hilarious and although we would muck around, as soon as D.J. (director D.J. Caruso) yelled `action' we would snap back into our characters.''
McAuliffe said fans of producer Michael Bay will be expecting ``explosions'' and they won't be disappointed, with plenty of stunts and special-effects. And although his character didn't get to do ``any dangerous stuff''', McAuliffe said he did get to shoot a gun.
``It was a real shot gun in special casing to make it look alien,'' he said.
``I did get to do all of my own stunts, which weren't too impressive because my character doesn't get into much action.
``But I was definitely looking forward to shooting that gun the whole time.
``It was an alien gun too.''
``We're getting pursued by the bad aliens, but my character is sick of running away so she turns around and the hunters become the hunted,'' she said.
``I got to do my own stunts and I had someone film this one amazing stunt I did.
``I was attached to a harness which was attached to a 60 foot crane and when they said `action' I had to run and the harness, that was attached to just my leg, would pull me back and I would go flying 60 feet up in the air.
``I had to act like this huge alien, a Piken, was pulling me up and I would be kicking and screaming and trying to stab it with this dagger.''
I Am Number Four is out tomorrow.
Monday, 21 February 2011
``He was just like a dad to me,'' she says of `The Rock'.
``He was awesome and always checking up on me and asking if I was hungry or tired.”
The Game Plan was a box-office hit, earning $144 million worldwide, and set Madison up for a career as a child star. She became the youngest Disney Channel star, playing the role of Sophie, the President's daughter (below), on Cory in the House and in a crossover episode of Hannah Montana. Since then she's worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Will Smith on Seven Pounds. But Madison, now 12, says she hasn't let her success go to her head.
``I stay grounded and I go to a normal school which keeps me balanced,'' she says.
``I'm very conscious of being a good role model for girls.
``There's a lot of people I can look up to, like my mum.
``She always tells me to be nice to other people and be kind and be careful of other people's feelings.'' She's a regular face on the Disney channel, having played the younger sister to High School Musical's Corbin Bleu in Free Style and starring in Mostly Ghostly, based on the popular Goosebumps series of books by R.L. Stine. That's not to mention her recurring voiceover work on animated shows such Phineas & Ferb and Special Agent Oso. Set to premiere in early 2011, Madison will also voice the role of Izzy, the only girl pirate on Disney Channel's new series Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
She also voices George Lopez's puppy daughter Lala in the straight-to-DVD film Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.
``I'd never played a Chihuahua before,'' she says.
``I'd never got to play the voice of the dog and it was fun to see my voice coming out from a little body.
``It's a little difficult because no one can see you acting in the booth, it's just you and your voice.
``But at the same time, I loved it because I could just go into the studio in my PJs and flip flops.''Although Madison (all grown up and above) is considered a star in her own right, she says she's still a fan and gets ``star struck'' just like everyone else.
``I was star struck by Raven Symone, I couldn't even speak,'' she says of her fellow Disney star.
``I loved Cheetah Girls, I grew up watching that and when I was on Corey's In The House, a spin off from Cheetah Girls, she came on set and I went `oh my God, that's Raven Symone'.
``I couldn't say anything, I was so scared.
``But she was so nice and came up to me and said `hi' and got a picture. I don't think I said anything the whole time.''
Saturday, 19 February 2011
``The idea is to set up a major independent film distribution company on the Gold Coast,'' Sheffield said.
``Film distribution and exhibition is mainly controlled out of Sydney and Melbourne, but there's no reason why we can't do it here as well.
``This industry is about getting it right 51 per cent of the time and if you can do that, you're ahead of the game.
``You know that you're always going to buy films that won't work and films that will, but the wonderful thing about this business is you can have nine duds and then the 10th one comes along and makes up for it.''
A branch of All Interactive Distribution (AID) a DVD and games business, which unsuccessfully attempted to move into theatrical under its own name three years ago Pinnacle Films is Australia's newest name in distribution. Instead of only releasing DVD titles, Sheffield said the company is now aiming to release eight to 10 theatrical pictures a year. Since joining the company in June last year, Sheffield, a highly experienced distributor, has been busy attending the world's most prestigious film festivals, including Cannes and Berlin, to snap up new titles. They include Pinnacle's prize release for this year, Larry Crowne, starring, written and directed by Tom Hanks. The film also stars Julia Roberts and My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos, who co-wrote the screenplay.Sheffield said Larry Crowne (above) will be the company's first title to secure a widespread studio release in both art-house cinemas and multiplexes nationwide. Pinnacle's slate also includes Chinese-American film Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, starring Hugh Jackman; underworld action flick Drive, starring Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan; The Hole 3D, directed by Gremlins filmmaker Joe Dante; and The Bang Bang Club, the true story of four photographers documenting the last days of apartheid, starring Ryan Phillippe, Taylor Kitsch and Malin Akerman. Pinncale will also distribute Australian films The Reef, starring Gyton Grantley; documentary Cane Toads: The Conquest 3D; and the animated family film Oakie's Outback Adventure.
After decades in the industry, Sheffield said he was yet to crack the secret to selecting a successful ``commercial picture''.
``It's all about the story the story has to work and we read lots of scripts,'' he said.
``We buy a lot of properties on scripts and if we believe in the script and we believe in the package that is, the director and the key cast we will take it on.''
Friday, 18 February 2011
It follows John Smith (Pettyfer) who tries to pass himself off as an ordinary teenager but in reality, is actually one of only nine aliens who escaped the planet Lorien when the evil Mogadorians invaded and went Hitler on their race. John and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) have spent their lives on the run, trying to elude the Mogadorians who have tracked the refugees to Earth and are killing them off in sequence. The latest town they roll into is Paradise, Ohio.
Henri begs John to keep a low profile as it's vital they don’t repeat a recent incident where his leg inconveniently lit up like a light night at a beach party. John says “I know how to blend in” and demonstrates his master-of-disguise prowess by chucking on a hoddie and enrolling in the local high school. There he meets Sarah (Agron), a cheerleader turned photographer, and sparks fly. Literally, as John’s powers are developing rapidly and between his hands turning into spotlights in class and making street lamps explode, he’s having a hard time staying under the radar. Which is why the high school’s resident nerd and UFO theorist Sam (Callan McAuliffe) catches on to John’s secret and after a big reveal, the pair become allies. Just in time too, as a horde of Mogadorians arrive in town in pursuit of John.Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye, Taking Lives), I Am Number Four is what it is; an alien action blockbuster with romance at its core. Kind of like E.T, minus the bicycles.
The film is based on a popular science fiction novel published in 2010, with DreamWorks Pictures buying the film rights a year earlier based on the manuscript. Buffy scribe and producer Marti Noxon has adapted for the big screen, along with Smallville helmers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and the trio do a fine job off crafting a steady building film for their target audience. They know their strong points and whenever the story gets a tad too romantic or slow, they counteract it quickly with action and special effects. Considering this is a Michael Bay produced film, you know the effects are going to be top notch. Thankfully the nonsensical elements of Bayhem productions are mostly absent, with the exception of the entire cast being good-looking and Caucasian. A brunette or multi-racial cast member in I Am Number Four is harder to find than Charlie Sheen’s sobriety.
Plus, as filmmakers Bay and Caruso are about as subtle as unobtainium. For instance, Aussie rising star Teresa Palmer gives a scene-stealing turn as fellow alien number six who, instead of sitting around and waiting to be killed, is actually a kick-ass warrior. She comes in at a crucial moment to help John and his buddies escape the Mogadorians and gets the best line in the film; “Red Bull is for pussies.” But to really drive the point home, she dresses in leather, wears studded gloves and drives a red motorbike. Okay, we get it, she’s sexy and badass. Ease up on the overt symbolism.Performance wise Pettyfer continues his role as the latest action boy template; he slots nicely into any big budget flick but never leaves an impression. Agron is memorable, but her monotone voice is more irritable than it usually is on Glee. There are some genuinely awesome sci-fi moments, mainly thanks to the original looking Mogadorians and their horrific pet creatures. With tattooed scalps, gills where cheeks should be, fangs and a looming 7ft-plus physique, they’re creepy enough as it is. Yet their manner and interaction add an extra `eek’ factor. Their hunter creatures too are fantastically freaky and obviously the result of a dozen dinosaurs and a Predator thrown into the blender. It also packs a clever original score from Trevor Rabin, which helps build tension, and is complemented by a too-cool-for-school soundtrack from the likes of Beck, The Black Keys, Kings Of Leon, Adele and The Temper Trap.
I Am Number Four sets up a sequel perfectly and, depending on box-office results, you can count on there being at least another two films (the author has six novels planned). It’s essentially an inter-species love story, complete with action, suspense and, unlike the Twilight Saga, it actually delivers on its promise of M-rated gore. Sure, this isn’t a film that’s going to change the world. But it’s a sufficiently entertaining meal for the multiplexes. I Am Number Four opens in cinemas on Thursday, February 24.
“Wow, I love movies, my favourite of all time is Excalibur, followed by Blues Brothers, Usual Suspects, Aliens, Aliens 3. I really love movies, I watch them religiously.
Movie Mazz: So are you happy with the Oscar nominations then? Have you seen any of the nominees?
“Yeah, I just saw Winter’s Bone the other day and that was a really great film. That actress is young and just getting into it, but it’s so great that that movie can be a part of it. Hat’s off to movies man, I always love being part of something that can entertain you and take you away, then you come out into the real world.”
Thursday, 17 February 2011
There once was a man named Oliver Stone,
Who won three Oscars for his filmmaking roles.
But despite 22 feature films he’d never made a sequel,
That is, until he tried to make Wall Street’s equal.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps may be an indulgent title,
But to fans of the original, only the content is vital.
Michael Douglas is back as Gordon Gekko and fresh out of jail,
With the financial climate perfectly suited for this alpha-male.
Carey Mulligan plays Gekko’s daughter Winnie,
Who wishes her dad was far away, like, in New Guinea
But her boyfriend Jake, played by Shia LaBeouf,
Thinks Gekko can’t be such a colossal douche.
He enlists his help to get revenge on Josh Brolin’s banker,
Who drove a man to suicide like a true Wall Street wanker.
But things with Gekko are never quite so simple,
And the tycoon’s schemes pop Jake’s bubble like a pimple.
It’s been 23 years since Wall Street took centre stage,
And it seems the plotting and style of the first has been ingrained.
While the sequel is fine from a filmmaking point of view,
You can’t help but ask did we really need number two?
Perhaps the biggest error is the casting of LaBeouf,
It’s almost as bad as Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.
The smug, lil’ twerp is out of his depth,
And his plastic performance is a massive misstep.
While the supporting cast is impressive and not lacking in talent,
It’s the character set-ups that make them an audience challenge.
Sure, the dialogue is decent and the lines do what they should,
But there’s nothing as memorable as “greed is good.”
The film’s run time is like accumulated depreciation,
And by the end of 133 minutes it lost this reviewer’s appreciation.
Despite Wall Street proving to be an intangible asset,
The sequel feels more like a soggy baguette.
Yet it is refreshing to watch a Stone film that isn’t about a historical despot,
Minus the pseudo homosexuality in lingering shots.
After a six year wait between this film and the weirdness that was Alexander,
Stone fans don’t have to worry because his next project’s not left to flounder.
Savages is the new film to be directed by Oliver Stone,
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, from Winter’s Bone.
But lets be honest, despite the occasional thriller,
He’s never made a film as good since Natural Born Killers.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
In conclusion, HIT me with you best shot please. I will be posting hardcore, shameless self-promotiony reminders regularly so be prepared.
*See! That's how deserving I am! I even speak French!
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Directed by local filmmaker Alister Grierson, Sanctum is the first fictional 3D underwater film and tells the story of a group of explorers trapped in an underwater cave system after a freak storm collapses the entrance. Filmed at Warner Roadshow Studios, the $30 million adventure film had legend James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, Aliens) at the helm as executive producer and utilised his groundbreaking 3D camera technology. Starring Rhys Wakefield, Richard Roxburgh and Ioan Gruffudd, this is arguably the film the Australian film industry are pinning their hopes on to crack the US market. Sanctum is out now.
Singularity Still currently filming on the coast, Singularity is an epic romantic drama and time travel film starring Josh Hartnett, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, Chris Egan and now Neve Campell, according to American film industry sources. It's set on the Great Barrier Reef in 2020 and also in 18th century colonial India. While director Roland Joffaacé is best known for his Oscar-winning films The Killing Fields and The Mission in the eighties, Singularity is an attempt to return to former glory after the critical misfire Captivity. Filming moves to India this year and Singularity will be released internationally late 2011.
Filmed soley on the Gold Coast early last year, Bad Behaviour is a crime thriller in a similar vein to the work of Quentin Tarantino. Directed by young local filmmaker Joseph Sims, the film swept the Melbourne Underground Film Festival winning a total of six major awards including best screenplay, runner-up best film and best director. After a sold out screening at the Gold Coast Film Festival in November, Bad Behaviour might be the David on this list of Goliath's, but that doesn't mean it can't impress despite a limited release. It stars Aussie favourite John Jarratt. Bad Behaviour is due out locally mid-year.
As far as `out there' concepts go, Bait takes the cake; a freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building along with a pack of tiger sharks. Sure, it sounds ridiculous, but you can't deny it sounds like ridiculous fun and in 3D to boot. Also filmed at Warner Roadshow Studios, it stars a cast of Aussie actors making waves overseas including Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Xavier Samuel, Phoebe Tonkin and Lincoln Lewis. Australian filmmaker Kimble Rendall, who's best known for his assistant director credits on The Matrix films and Casanova, steps up to the director's chair along with Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction). Bait is out September.
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
The 33-year-old stars in Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman's No Strings Attached and says he ``really enjoyed'' his first rom-com experience.
``I like doing roles where I surprise people and just doing different stuff a lot,'' he says.
``I really had a good time and it's the number one film here in the States, so I'm hoping to have the same kind of effect in Australia.''
In the film Bridges stars alongside Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman as best friends who begin a physical relationship.
He says working with the two actors was the highlight of his time on set.
``It was great working with Ashton,'' he says.
``He's really cool and laid back, just a humble guy; not necessarily the Punk'd person you see all the time.
``And Natalie Portman man, this is her year.
``She's come out with Black Swan and she's in three other movies this year.
``I think that she's just shining right now. I'm really proud of her and I wish her well.''Bridges is one of the few rappers who has been able to forge a successful career as an actor and be taken seriously in dramatic roles, unlike Ja Rule, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Ice Cube, DMX or Sisqo.
But he's quick to discount the praise and says he's just "glad people understand and respect what I'm doing.''
``I think Will Smith is the most successful rapper turned actor, but I appreciate the compliments,'' he says.
``It feels good, you know, I really like the acting.
``I love it so much and I think people understand how focussed and how much work I've put into it.''
He says his career as a rapper definitely helped a crossover into acting.
``I think because we're making music videos, it's already a form of acting; we've written the lyrics and we're kind of acting our own lyrics out on to camera,'' he says.
``I think that's half the battle, trying to be comfortable in front of the camera and being able to display words.
``It's the best transition and I think it helped out in the process of acting.''But unlike his peers, Bridges never intended to make the leap into movies. While working on the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack, it was Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton who pushed Bridges to join the cast.
``Actually John Singleton was the first person who asked me to be in the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious and once I got in the movie I really liked it and the process and that I had a chance to do it, you know.
``I guess I can attribute John Singleton asking me to be in the movie to me loving it and continuing to do it now.''
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Rabbithole is directed by John Cameron Mitchell and is based on a play of the same name by David Lindsay-Abaire. Cameron-Mitchell has swapped the visually confronting material of his last film Shortbus, which attempted to integrate realistic sex scenes into mainstream cinema, for emotionally confronting material in this mature drama. He has a charming visual style, which positions dialogue laden scenes against simpler ones that rely on images and movements to get the message across. It's used to great effect here, namely when Becca is shown frozen in front of her son's drawings on the fridge or when Jason is sketching his comic book. Cameron Mitchell also slips in some dark comedic moments, which provide a humorous reprieve from the heavy themes. For a film that examines grief and the nature of loss, it's reliant on solid performances from the ensemble cast - particularly Kidman and Eckhart who are both convincing as parents experiencing grief in very different ways. Although Kidman scored a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, Eckhart is just as deserving (arguably more so) as his portrayal is gutsy and relentless. The standout is undoubtedly newcomer Teller as the quiet and thoughtful teenager still haunted by the accident. His interpretation of the character is stoic and powerful, creating some of the most moving moments in the film. Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard and and Sandra Oh are also strong in minor roles.
Despite Rabbithole's merits, this is territory we've been before. The film's examination of parental love and the full reach of grief isn't any more insightful than films with similar themes such as The Sixth Sense, Dead Man Walking, My Sister's Keeper, Beaches or The Lovely Bones. It doesn't shed any new light, lead us to any new realisations or make us feel any differently about what is clearly a horrible experience to go through. Although the performances are solid, the technical aspects well handled, by the end of the film you can't help but ask; other than providing a snapshot of one particular couple's experience of grief, what was the point?Rabbithole is out Thursday, February 17.
Friday, 4 February 2011
“I like The Godfather series. A lot of people like that.”
Gee, thanks for that. Luckily I love you long time and seek to redeem musicians everywhere with this much more impressive answer from Joe Lindsay aka Hopepa from awesome Kiwi act Fat Freddy’s Drop. Hit me:
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Nolanites will remember only too clearly when his incredible superhero allegory The Dark Knight failed to be nominated for a best picture or best director Oscar in 2009, despite being nominated in eight major categories. Fans created such an outcry over this injustice that the Academy were forced to open up the best picture category to 10 nominees the following year in what is now known as `The Dark Knight effect’. It seemed with the resounding critical and commercial success of Nolan’s mind-bending Inception this year, there was simply no way he or the film could be overlooked.
Well, the Academy got it half right. Although Inception has received the best picture nomination it rightly deserves, as well as nods in seven other categories, Nolan has again been snubbed from the best director list. How is it then, that someone who wrote, produced and directed the most original film of the season, can be utterly and completely ignored in the director category? That’s a good question. Iconic director Stanley Kubrick, with whom Nolan’s work has been closely compared to, never won an Oscar for best director or best picture despite being behind classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket. The reality is the Academy isn’t able to handle the conceptually and intellectually challenging genius of a film such as Inception and a mastermind such as Nolan.
``It was dangerous, no doubt about it,'' Grierson said.
``The underwater stuff . . .those guys were doing it seven metres underwater and you can't panic down there.
``They were really going through those squeezes.
``That's why we used the full face masks so you know it was actually the actors doing it.
``There was still a whole army of people underwater and stunt supervisors, but at the same time working underwater is inherently dangerous, especially the scene where
Richard (Roxburgh) and Judes (Allison Cratchley) had to share the re-breather - that's real and really dangerous.''
Sanctum follows the misadventures of a group of explorers who are trapped in an underwater cave system when a freak storm collapses the entrance. The film is loosely based on the real-life experience of producer and writer Andrew Wight, a longtime friend and collaborator of film legend James Cameron. Cameron came on board as the executive producer of Sanctum, handpicking Grierson as the man to direct the feature after being impressed by his debut film Kokoda, also filmed on the Gold Coast.
With the Titanic director as his mentor, Grierson had to first learn how to dive then learn how to use the Cameron-Pace Fusion Camera system that Cameron invented to make Avatar. He also had to make sure his lead actors - Richard Roxburgh, Rhys Wakefield, Ioan Gruffudd - were willing to get their feet wet.
``Rhys did amazing things, all the leaps and jumps - he did a lot training to do that,'' Grierson said.
``The scene where he's breathing air bubbles off the roof of the cave, that's really hard to do.
``I tried it and you're upside down, the water gets in your nose and then you have to have the presence of mind to breath.
``I couldn't do it. He was fearless.''Fearless is something the audience will certainly not be while watching Sanctum as the characters are forced through the tiniest of underwater spaces in claustrophobic 3D. Grierson said he enjoyed setting up the audience to expect one type of film, before flipping it ``on its head.''
``It wasn't a conscious thing, though James (Cameron) was very heavily involved with the screenplay through the stages,'' he said.
``What's interesting to me, and I'm not sure if it's a Cameron type thing, but you think it's one type of film and then it flips on its head and it's not that film any more, then people start to say `holy, did he just do that? Did we just see that?''
Sanctum is Grierson's first foray into 3D filmmaking and the first 3D feature Cameron has worked on since his groundbreaking Avatar, now the most successful film of all time. But despite the hype surrounding the technology, Grierson said at the end of the day it comes down to the quality of the film - not the visuals.
``The argument 3D is better than 2D isn't necessarily true, it depends on the film,'' he said.
``There have been some bad films in 3D, but I think over the next year when there's going to be at least 20 films coming out using the Cameron-Pace 3D technology that will change peoples ideas.
``Especially when people see 3D films from Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann that's going to change peoples minds.''
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Sanctum director Alister Grierson and producer/writer Andrew Wight flew over to the US to launch the initiative with Cameron in Las Vegas earlier this month.
``Andrew and I flew over for a day and they had built this kind of semi-trailer really,'' said Grierson.
``It's a fantastic idea because it's taking cinema to rural areas and they've kitted up a mobile cinema that can seat about 100 people - it's kind of like a Transformer.
``On the outside it's painted like the Sanctum poster, with the blurbs and all that, and so they roll up to a big event somewhere and people come in and they can look at three different clips from the film in 3D and Jim gives an intro.''
``I read that in Texas it shut down a whole street and caused a big fuss, which was great press for us.''Burleigh Heads local Grierson filmed the $30 million film at Warner Roadshow Studios last year. It follows the misadventures of a group of explorers who become trapped in an underwater cave system. Although Sanctum is set to do big things here in Australia when its released on Thursday, it's set to be a marketing challenge in the US thanks to the largely Australian cast, with the exception of Ioan Gruffudd, and the R rating. The Hollywood Reporter is also reporting ``some people'' think Sanctum is an IMAX 3D companion piece to Cameron's underwater documentaries Ghosts of the Abyss or Aliens of the Deep. Sanctum will receive one of the widest releases for an Australian film in years when it opens worldwide this week.
Stayed peeled for the final part in the Sanctum series tomorrow.