Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman flew off with another seven top honours at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Hollywood on Thursday (15Jan15). The movie picked up the event's first award for Best Acting Ensemble and went on to win another six accolades, including Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Score, while the film's star Michael Keaton added two more trophies to his collection - for Best Actor and Best Actor In A Comedy.
In his acceptance speech for the latter he noted, "Nobody is really better than anyone else, but I'll take this (award)."
The Grand Budapest Hotel, which, like Birdman, had picked up nine Oscar nominations earlier in the day, claimed three Critics Choice Awards, including Best Comedy, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design, while another Academy Awards favourite, Boyhood, scored four prizes - the top honour for Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Linklater), Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), and Best Young Actor (Ellar Coltrane).
Other winners included Julianne Moore (Best Actress for Still Alice), J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash), Bradley Cooper (Best Actor in an Action Movie for American Sniper), and Emily Blunt (Best Actress in an Action Movie for Edge of Tomorrow).
Chris Miller, the co-writer/director of The LEGO Movie had a very special reason to celebrate his win for Best Animated Movie, as it came just hours after the film was snubbed in the same category at the Oscar nominations.
He said, "What a rollercoaster of emotions today has been."
Meanwhile, special awards went to veteran director/producer Ron Howard, who was handed the Louis XIII Genius Award, Kevin Costner, who was feted with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Jessica Chastain, who was presented with the first ever MVP Award, celebrating her multiple roles in films throughout the year, including A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Miss Julie, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Best Picture - Boyhood
Best Actor - Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Best Actress - Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Best Acting Ensemble - cast of Birdman
Best Director - Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Best Original Screenplay - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo (Birdman)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Best Supporting Actor - J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Supporting Actress - Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Young Actor/Actress - Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
Best Art Direction - Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Editing - Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione (Birdman)
Best Costume Design - Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Hair and Makeup - Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Visual Effects - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Best Animated Feature - The LEGO Movie
Best Action Movie - Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Actor In An Action Movie - Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Best Actress In An Action Movie - Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow)
Best Comedy - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actor In A Comedy - Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Best Actress In A Comedy - Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)
Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie - Interstellar
Best Foreign Language Film - Force Majeure (Sweden)
Best Documentary Feature - Life Itself
Best Song - Glory by Common and John Legend (Selma)
Best Score - Antonio Sanchez (Birdman)
Louis XIII Genius Award - Ron Howard
Lifetime Achievement Award - Kevin Costner
MVP Award - Jessica Chastain.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower star Ezra Miller has been cast as fast superhero The Flash for a new blockbuster.
A week after the launch of America's hit new The Flash TV series, Miller has landed the lead role in a new movie project set for 2018. The Flash, aka Barry Allen, is also expected to appear in the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, which is set to hit cinemas in March, 2016. Grant Gustin portrays The Flash on TV.
Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace his Django Unchained co-star Jamie Foxx in Kevin Hart's new movie The Black Phantom.
The Pulp Fiction star has become the frontrunner to become the Phantom's nemesis-turned-sidekick in the film, according to Deadline.com.
The film will team Hart with his Ride Along director Tim Story again, while producer Clint Culpepper previously worked with Jackson on 2008 thriller Lakeview Terrace.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
Getty Images/Kevin Mazur
Hip-hop superstar Jay Z returned home on Saturday (12Jul14) to make a surprise appearance at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival in New York. The music icon joined his rapper pal Jay Electronica on stage at the annual event and played Young, Gifted & Black, We Made It, Shiny Suit Theory and PSA, much to the delight of the audience. Electronica also introduced another Brooklyn native, Talib Kweli, to perform Just Begun with him, as well as Mac Miller and J. Cole. Jay Z followed up the guest appearance by racing to the MetLife Stadium in nearby New Jersey, where he later hit the stage with his wife Beyonce for their second consecutive night at the venue, as part of their joint On The Run tour.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The NBA season might be coming to a close, but it doesn't look like Lebron James will be taking a vacation any time soon. According to TheWrap, the Miami Heat star has joined the cast of Judd Apatow's upcoming comedy Trainwreck, along with rapper/actor Method Man. The film will star Amy Shumer, who also wrote the script, and follows a woman who has a knack for ruining everything in her life as she attempts to rebuild from the ground up. It hasn't yet been revealed what kind of role Method Man or James will play, but since the latter only has a short window of free time every year, it seems likely that his will be a smaller part.
The pair are the latest additions to Trainwreck's diverse cast, which includes indie darlings, Oscar nominees and Councilman Jamm, in addition to a rapper and an NBA champion. Upon first glance, the cast list might read as if several IMDB pages got mixed up, but this strange group of people actually make perfect sense together, because all of the big names involved with the project are connected. In fact, it's possible to connect every single person who has signed on to this film, from James to Bill Hader to Tilda Swinton, with a maximum of two degrees of separation between them - surprisingly, none of which are Kevin Bacon. Let's start with the director:
Judd Apatow directed Funny People, which starred Aziz Ansari, who was on Parks and Recreation with…
Jon Glaser, who plays Laird on Girls, which also featured…
Colin Quinn in the role of Hermie. Quinn is a Saturday Night Live alum just like…
Bill Hader who was on SNL at the same time as…
Vanessa Bayer, who is part of the current cast with Bobby Moynihan, who does voice work on Chozen alongside…
Method Man, who starred in The Sitter with Jonah Hill. Hill was in 21 Jump Street with…
Brie Larson, who guest starred on an episode of The Kroll Show, which airs on the same network as Inside Amy Shumer, which stars…
Amy Shumer, who appeared in Sleepwalk With Me, a film made by…
Mike Birbiglia, who had a role in Your Sister’s Sister with Emily Blunt. Blunt has acted opposite Tom Hanks, as did…
Barkhad Abdi, who was nominated for an Oscar, just like…
Tilda Swinton, who is in The Zero Theorem with Matt Damon, who appeared on Entourage with…
Lebron James, who is an athlete-turned-actor, as is…
John Cena, who guest starred on Pysch, which airs on the same network as Royal Pains, which featured a 5 episode guest spot from…
Ezra Miller, who starred in The Perks of Being a Wallflower with Paul Rudd, a perennial favorite of Judd Apatow.
See? It's not such a strange bunch after all.
On Saturday Night Live, the cast member who anchors Weekend Update has always had a special role to fill on the show. Guaranteed a showcase, they are the one constant in an otherwise ever changing group of sketches.
The originator of the role, Chevy Chase, left after one season to find stardom in movies, setting an example that would be followed going forward: Weekend Update anchors moving on to bigger and better things. You may have heard of Chase's immediate successors — Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray — all of whom (along with Chase) continue working regularly in film and television 30-plus years later. But how about everyone else who's held the desk?
THE LOST YEARS
When first Jean Doumanian and then Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer after Lorne Michaels exited the show following the 1979 - '80 season, the segment went through a number of changes, including sometimes being called Newsbreak and Saturday Night News. The most prominent host during the early '80s was Brad Hall — known to most, now, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband — who anchored from 1982 - '84. Many of the other anchors during that time — Charles Rocket, Christine Ebersole, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Gross — did the segment for just a year (or less). Most members of this group have faded into the background, although Rocket, who famously dropped an F-bomb during a SNL sketch, made regular appearances on television and movies (Moonlighting, Dances with Wolves) until his death in 2005. Doyle-Murray (Bill's older brother) and Guest were established character actors before joining the show and didn't miss a beat after leaving. Doyle-Murray has been in everything from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to ABC's The Middle, usually playing some variation of a blowhard. Guest most famously played the six-fingered Count Rugen in The Princess Bride and earned additional praise for directing ensemble comedies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.
THE GOLDEN AGE
Since Michaels took back the reins of SNL in 1985, the format of Weekend Update has remained largely unchanged and the comics that have sat behind the desk have become some of the biggest names in entertainment. But, who's having the best post-SNL career? Starting with the mid '80s, we rank them from worst to best below:
Kevin Nealon (1991 - '94) and Colin Quinn (1998 - 2000)
Most non-hardcore SNL fans would have difficulty remembering anything about either Nealon's or Quinn's stint on Update, so maybe it's not surprising that they've had the least success since leaving the show (although they've still done significantly better than most of the Ebersol folk). Quinn was a stand-up comic before the show and just returned to doing more of the same when he left. He did host a show on Comedy Central for a while, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Nealon's biggest success came playing hapless accountant Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. Each is friends with fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, so Nealon and Quinn also show up occasionally doing cameos in Sandler's films. Lately, we've seen Quinn show up on episodes of Girls as a boss and friend of Alex Karpovsky's character Ray.
Norm Macdonald (1994 - '97)
Like Quinn, Macdonald came to SNL with an established background in stand-up. He had the good fortune to be behind the desk during the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial, which provided endless fodder for the comedian… and possibly led to his dismissal after running afoul of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson. Macdonald had his own sitcom on ABC for three years (Norm), and keeps a steady schedule of stand-up dates. Besides doing voice-over and commercial work, he's also a frequent guest of Conan O'Brien and, like Quinn and Nealon, has a habit of showing up in movies that Sandler produces.
Seth Meyers (2006 - '14)
Meyers sat behind the Weekend Update desk longer than anyone, and is the only anchor that worked both solo and with a partner. He has only been gone a few months, so it's hard to grade him, but he's off to a rousing start as the host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, maintaining his 30 Rock residence and boss Michaels. We're rooting for you, Seth.
Dennis Miller (1985 - '91)
Miller was the one responsible for returning Update back to something closer to Chase's original version. Unlike most of the others, Miller's sole role on the show was hosting the fake news segment, very rarely taking part in any of the show's sketches. Miller also might be the most controversial of the former anchors. After leaving SNL, he hosted Dennis Miller Live on HBO from 1994 - 2002, winning five Emmys. He also did a disastrous two-season stint as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football. After 2001, Miller's political views became increasingly conservative, leading to him to a gig at Fox News with a regular spot on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since 2007, Miller has also hosted a syndicated radio show. Oddly, when Miller is on vacation his frequent fill-in both on radio and with O'Reilly is Macdonald.
Amy Poehler (2004 - '08)
One of the founders of the influential improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, Poehler joined with Tina Fey to form the first all-female team on Weekend Update, and the two have been joined together ever since. Poehler was such a powerful presence on the show that she managed to make an appearance on the segment by frequent target Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin come off as charming instead of forced. Since SNL, Poehler has starred in the movie Baby Mama and has done the voices for more animated characters than we can count. She also just completed her sixth season starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 and, oh yeah, and she has a little awards show hosting gig that she does with Fey.
Jimmy Fallon (2000 - '04)
Fallon teamed with Fey to turn Update back into a buzz-worthy segment, with the two of them trading quips at which Fallon would frequently crack up. He tried his hand at movies after leaving the show, starring in Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Taxi with Queen Latifah. It was when he returned to television, however, that he really hit his stride. Starting with taking over for O'Brien on Late Night, Fallon has steadily grown into one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry as a late night talk show host. In February, he took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, moving it back to New York from Los Angeles and earning accolades for his mix of goofy humor, music, and social media interaction.
Tina Fey (2000 - '06)
During her time on SNL, in addition to co-anchoring Update with first Fallon and then Poehler, Fey was the show's first female head writer. While still on the show, Fey wrote the hit teen comedy Mean Girls, and since leaving has starred in a group of comedies, including Baby Mama with Poehler and most recently Muppets Most Wanted. She wrote, produced, and starred in NBC's 30 Rock for seven seasons, and her book Bossypants was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks. She's won eight Emmys, most recently for her work hosting the Golden Globes with Poehler, and she was the youngest ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Dazzlingly smart and funny, it's hard to find many people that can match resumes with Fey.
Movie star Kevin Spacey has a stolen party invite to thank for helping him land his dream stage role opposite the legendary Jack Lemmon early on in his career. The House of Cards star was a young thespian working in a theatre production of Hurlyburly in New York in the mid-1980s when he heard director Jonathan Miller was going to be in the city to hold tryouts for a planned version of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night, starring Lemmon in the lead role.
Spacey was desperate to play the part of Lemmon's onstage son, but reveals he had no way to score an audition - until he stole an invite for a party with Miller from an elderly guest at a lecture series the filmmaker was hosting.
He says, "This is a true story, I don't make this up - I was sitting in my seat, terrified, thinking, 'How am I going to f**king meet him...?'
"There was an elderly woman sitting next to me... and she was sleeping. And I happened to look down, and sticking outside of her purse on the ground was an invitation to a cocktail reception in honour of Dr. Jonathan Miller. And I thought, 'You know, she's tired.' So I leaned down, I took this invitation and I went to this cocktail reception..."
The daring move gave Spacey the chance to introduce himself to Miller at the party and he managed to talk his way into an audition, which led to him performing in front of Lemmon himself.
He recalls, "I'll never forget, I did four scenes with Jack, this man who had meant so much to me, was a huge idol of mine, and he walked up to me... at the end of the audition... and he said, 'You know, I never thought we'd find the rotten kid but you're it, Jesus Christ, what the f**k was that?' And I spent the next year of my life working with Jack."
The pair became good friends and went on to work together on three other projects, including 1992's film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross, and Spacey insists he owes a lot of his career success to the late star: "He became my friend, my mentor, my father figure."
The actor claims he has learned to live by one of Lemmon's life lessons.
Speaking at Wednesday's (09Apr14) Museum of the Moving Image event held in New York in Spacey's honour, added, "Jack had a philosophy... that he passed down to me... Jack used to say all the time, 'If you've done well in the business you want to do well in, then it is your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down...'
"So there isn't a day that goes by when I'm not enormously grateful for the people that believed in me and gave me a chance, and I know in my heart, that if we all just keep a little bit of the Lemmon clause in our hearts, we're going to be OK."
Actor Kevin Spacey is heading back to the London stage to reprise a character he first portrayed over two decades ago in TV movie Darrow. The House of Cards star will play pioneering 19th century American lawyer Clarence Darrow in a one-man play at The Old Vic venue, marking his 10th anniversary as the theatre's artistic director.
Spacey also tackled the role of Darrow in a 2009 Old Vic revival of Inherit The Wind.
A statement issued by the actor reads: "I am thrilled to be returning to The Old Vic stage, for the first time performing in the round, such an exciting transformation of our Old Vic space for actors and audiences alike.
"As I celebrate ten years at the helm of this very special theatre it feels great to be returning to the character of Clarence Darrow, whom I played both onstage in Inherit the Wind and 22 years ago in the PBS film Darrow, directed by one of my House of Cards collaborators, John Coles."
Clarence Darrow, which will begin previews in late May (14), was announced as part of The Old Vic's summer/autumn (14) line-up, which also includes a production of Electra, based on the Greek tragedy by Sophocles and starring Kristin Scott Thomas, and a "visceral re-imagining" of Arthur Miller play The Crucible, directed by Yael Farber.
Spacey is set to step down as The Old Vic's artistic director next year (15).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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