Ryan Gosling is finally moving from mostly indie films into the big time, and over the last five years has been an integral part of some of the best films produced. Gosling’s talent stretches from comedy (The Nice Guys, Crazy Stupid Love) to hard drama (Half-Nelson, The Ides of March) to action (Blade Runner 2049) and even song and dance (La La Land). Gosling’s dedication to his roles is such that he learned to play the piano for La La Land. With Blade Runner 2049’s critical success, Gosling can really do whatever he wants and join the elite ranks of Hollywood’s leading men.
Brad Pitt has already put together an amazing resume of memorable performances in the 25 years he’s been in Hollywood. Initially ogled more for his looks than talent, Pitt seems to embrace even more challenging roles as he ages, though it looks like he’s going to be on magazine covers for the rest of his life no matter how old he gets. Pitt does a fantastic job of character creation, be it Aldo Raines, Tyler Durden, Billy Beane, Tristan Ludlow, Benjamin Button, or any one of a dozen more memorable screen turns. What people may not realize about Pitt is that he is one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. Pitt’s won an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe, but only the Golden Globe is for acting. Similar to George Clooney and Tom Hanks, Pitt gets deeply involved in projects you may not even realize he’s attached to, and that’s a talent that may even outlive his still vibrant acting career. Continue reading Brad Pitt’s 10 Best Movies→
Christian Bale’s career is already entering its fourth decade of excellence. The actor, whose first starring role was in 1987 in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun at age 13, already has a career’s worth of outstanding roles and an Oscar for his performance in David O. Russell’s The Fighter. For most, Bale is the definitive Batman in the definitive super hero trilogy: Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan and Bale put a stamp on Batman that others will be living up to as long as the character exists. Bale also teamed with Nolan in The Prestige and with Russell again in American Hustle for wildly different roles in two outstanding films. Bale is an intense, character-driven actor who has twice lost massive amounts of weight (Rescue Dawn & The Mechanic) for roles. Bale gained 109 lbs for Batman Begins after losing 63 lbs for The Machinist. Bale went from 121 lbs to 230 lbs in only six months which overshot what Chris Nolan wanted for his Batman, so by the time filming began, Christian Bale had dropped to 190 lbs. The dedication paid off, and Bale continues to be one of the most dynamic actors working today. Continue reading Christian Bale’s 10 Best Movies→
The Big Short is a quirky movie. It’s an adaptation of a true story, non-fiction financial book by Michael Lewis that is essentially four stories with minimal interaction. It’s about four groups that saw the American housing market for what it was (nearly picked the Jenga scene, but Jenga is a perfect visual metaphor for what it was): complete and utter bluster. These guys did something no one had ever done: they bet hard on the American economy crashing. They essentially shorted America, and walked away rich because they were smart and we were all stupid (and criminally mislead), so I don’t hold it against them at all. The scene that makes what is a wacky, funny, and dense movie work though, is this simple scene where Brad Pitt’s character loses it on the pair of young traders celebrating over what they’re doing. It’s business, and it’s fair, but he knows what it really means and he hammers them (and by extension us) with the consequences. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: The Big Short (2015) *Just Don’t Dance*→
It was never even close. The Killing Time Community Film of 2015 by a 40 point margin is Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens!!! I agree and named it Best Picture when the Renaissance Awards went up yesterday (click here to review). Mad Max: Fury road finished a distant second and The Revenant (which I suppose is the Community’s pick amongst those films actually in the running tomorrow) finished third.
What I thought was great was that every single one of the 15 nominated films got votes. Even if Star Wars wasn’t your favorite film this year, there was a film(s) that will stick with you and I think the breadth of the voting once you got past the juggernaut in first showed that. Tomorrow night is OSCAR NIGHT! Tune in so you can understand what I’ll be screaming about on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see if host Chris Rock addresses Spike Lee’s boycott. I think the thing I’m most rooting for is for John Williams to win Best Score for Star Wars with his 50th Oscar nomination (FIFTY). It may be the last chance for the maestro, and he legitamitely deserves it. Our look back at 2015 has ended (though expect a mega lightning review bomb next week of the films I watched to catch up) and it’s time to begin 2016 in earnest. See you at the movies!
Here are our legacy winners (all PG-13, huh): 2012: The Dark Knight Rises 2013: Gravity 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy 2015: Star Wars Episode VII