Considering that every award show leading up to the Academy Awards helps predict who will take home the Oscar in each category, it's quite a good sign for both American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave that each film received 13 nominations for the 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
American Hustle grabbed nods for Best Picture, Best Actor (Christian Bale), Best Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (David O. Russell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Comedy (Christian Bale), and Best Actress in a Comedy (Amy Adams). And 12 years a Slave nabbed nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, and Best Score.
Not far behind in the nominations race is Gravity with 10 nods and Captain Phillips, Her, Nebraska, and The Wolf of Wall Street with six each.
The Critics Choice Awards ceremony will be hosted by Aisha Tyler on The CW Jan. 16 at 8 PM.
Best PictureAmerican HustleCaptain PhillipsDallas Buyers ClubGravityHerInside Llewyn DavisNebraskaSaving Mr. Banks12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall Street
Best ActorChristian Bale – American HustleBruce Dern – NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a SlaveTom Hanks – Captain PhillipsMatthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers ClubRobert Redford – All Is Lost
Best ActressCate Blanchett – Blue JasmineSandra Bullock – GravityJudi Dench – PhilomenaBrie Larson – Short Term 12Meryl Streep – August: Osage CountyEmma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Best Supporting ActorBarkhad Abdi – Captain PhillipsDaniel Bruhl – RushBradley Cooper – American HustleMichael Fassbender – 12 Years a SlaveJames Gandolfini – Enough SaidJared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting ActressScarlett Johansson – HerJennifer Lawrence – American HustleLupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a SlaveJulia Roberts – August: Osage CountyJune Squibb – NebraskaOprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Best Young Actor/ActressAsa Butterfield – Ender’s GameAdele Exarchopoulos – Blue Is the Warmest ColorLiam James – The Way Way BackSophie Nelisse – The Book ThiefTye Sheridan – Mud
Best Acting EnsembleAmerican HustleAugust: Osage CountyLee Daniels’ The ButlerNebraska12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall Street
Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron – GravityPaul Greengrass – Captain PhillipsSpike Jonze – HerSteve McQueen – 12 Years a SlaveDavid O. Russell – American HustleMartin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Original ScreenplayEric Singer and David O. Russell – American HustleWoody Allen – Blue JasmineSpike Jonze – HerJoel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn DavisBob Nelson – Nebraska
Best Adapted ScreenplayTracy Letts – August: Osage CountyRichard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke – Before MidnightBilly Ray – Captain PhillipsSteve Coogan and Jeff Pope – PhilomenaJohn Ridley – 12 Years a SlaveTerence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best CinematographyEmmanuel Lubezki – GravityBruno Delbonnel – Inside Llewyn DavisPhedon Papamichael – NebraskaRoger Deakins – PrisonersSean Bobbitt – 12 Years a Slave
Best Art DirectionAndy Nicholson (Production Designer), Rosie Goodwin (Set Decorator) – GravityCatherine Martin (Production Designer), Beverley Dunn (Set Decorator) – The Great GatsbyK.K. Barrett (Production Designer), Gene Serdena (Set Decorator) – HerDan Hennah (Production Designer), Ra Vincent (Set Decorator) – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugAdam Stockhausen (Production Designer), Alice Baker (Set Decorator) – 12 Years a Slave
Best EditingAlan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers – American HustleChristopher Rouse – Captain PhillipsAlfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger – GravityDaniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill – RushJoe Walker – 12 Years a SlaveThelma Schoonmaker – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Costume DesignMichael Wilkinson – American HustleCatherine Martin – The Great GatsbyBob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugDaniel Orlandi – Saving Mr. BanksPatricia Norris – 12 Years a Slave
Best MakeupAmerican HustleThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugLee Daniels’ The ButlerRush12 Years a Slave
Best Visual EffectsGravityThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugIron Man 3Pacific RimStar Trek into Darkness
Best Animated FeatureThe CroodsDespicable Me 2FrozenMonsters UniversityThe Wind Rises
Best Action MovieThe Hunger Games: Catching FireIron Man 3Lone SurvivorRushStar Trek into Darkness
Best Actor in an Action MovieHenry Cavill – Man of SteelRobert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3Brad Pitt – World War ZMark Wahlberg – Lone Survivor
Best Actress in an Action MovieSandra Bullock – GravityJennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching FireEvangeline Lilly – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugGwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 3
Best ComedyAmerican HustleEnough SaidThe HeatThis Is the EndThe Way Way BackThe World’s End
Best Actor in a ComedyChristian Bale – American HustleLeonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall StreetJames Gandolfini – Enough SaidSimon Pegg – The World’s EndSam Rockwell – The Way Way Back
Best Actress in a ComedyAmy Adams – American HustleSandra Bullock – The HeatGreta Gerwig – Frances HaJulia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough SaidMelissa McCarthy – The Heat
Best Sci-fi/Horror MovieThe ConjuringGravityStar Trek into DarknessWorld War Z
Best Foreign Language FilmBlue Is the Warmest ColorThe Great BeautyThe HuntThe PastWadjda
Best Documentary FeatureThe Act of KillingBlackfishStories We TellTim’s Vermeer20 Feet from Stardom
Best Song"Atlas" – Coldplay – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"Happy" – Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me 2"Let It Go" – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen"Ordinary Love" – U2 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"Please Mr. Kennedy" – Justin Timberlake/Oscar Isaac/Adam Driver – Inside Llewyn Davis"Young and Beautiful" – Lana Del Rey – The Great Gatsby
Best ScoreSteven Price – GravityArcade Fire – HerThomas Newman – Saving Mr. BanksHans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave
In 1996, the Coen Bros introduced us to a snow-clogged little town in North Dakota where one of the greatest crime stories of all time took place. Where quaint small-time values came head to head with city-slicker evil, and where a certain actor came head to head with a wood chipper. Seventeen years ago, Fargo helped redefine the crime film and now it's coming to your TV with a certain Hobbit in tow.
Martin Freeman has been been cast in FX's cable reboot of the Coen Bros' classic film, playing Lester Nygaard, a hapless insurance salesman partly based on the William H. Macy character in the original film. Lester's life is plagued by a nagging wife, but his situation changes drastically when a mysterious drifter named Lorde Malvo (Billy Bob Thorton) rolls into town and sets Lester down a dark path of destruction.
The new series promises to tell a whole new story in its limited 10-episode run, instead of completely following the story of the 1996 original. The very British Martin Freeman is certainly a versatile actor, but just how well will he be able to transport himself into the Coens' quirky and slightly twisted version of the American North? The actor would have to master the standard American accent — already quite a challenge for some of our favorite actors from accross the Atlantic — and then slather on a thick coating of Dakota-style singsong on top. It might be difficult for Freeman to balance between faithful recreation and parody, but if any Brit is up for the task, it's Dr. Watson himself, don't-cha-know!
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The animated creatures of Monsters University scared off competition from Simon Pegg's The World's End to keep control of the British box office for a second consecutive weekend. The prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc., featuring the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, retained the number one slot in the U.K cinema chart after scoring ticket sales of $4.2 million (£2.8 million) over the weekend (19-21Jul13).
The earnings put it ahead of Pegg's latest comedy, the unofficial third installment of his 'Cornetto trilogy', which came second with takings of $3.2 million (£2.1 million).
Another animated comedy sequel, Steve Carell's Despicable Me 2, made up the top three, garnering $2.9 million (£1.9 million), putting it ahead of monster blockbuster Pacific Rim at four ($2 million/£1.3 million) and magical movie Now You See Me in fifth place ($1.4 million/£922,669).
Louis Leterrier’s remake of Clash of the Titans the 1981 cult favorite that fused Greek mythology with sci-fi theatrics is a grand experiment in the ancient art of alchemy a big-budget attempt to spin fanboy nostalgia for a 30-year-old novelty into contemporary box-office gold. The main ingredients in this ambitious concoction are a potent arsenal of CGI weaponry and the star of the biggest movie ever Sam Worthington who inherits Harry Hamlin’s role as the heroic Perseus. But it’s what’s missing from the formula that ultimately dooms this remake.
Clash of the Titans redux mimics the original film’s epic ethos and preference for spectacle over all else but its storyline differs dramatically. Perseus is still the half-breed product of a one-night stand between the god Zeus and a human hottie and he still must to defeat the monstrous Kraken in order to save the lovely Princess Andromeda. Almost everything in between however has been altered — and not necessarily for the better.
The new version casts the Greek city of Argos as the primary battleground in a proxy war fought by dueling Olympian superpowers Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Born of a god but raised by and partial to humans Worthington’s Perseus battles not for the hand of Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) — as Hamlin’s character did — but instead for the people of Argos who stand to perish along with their princess at the hands of the dreaded Kraken. The film’s love story if it can be called that consists of the briefest of flirtations between Perseus and Io (Gemma Arterton) his self-appointed spiritual guide. (Cursed with immortality by the gods Io’s been secretly watching him all his life — which ostensibly makes her a glorified stalker.)
This detail is a small but crucial one. Strong-willed Perseus braves an obstacle course of giant scorpions gorgons and other horrors laid out for him by the wheezy fiend Hades but it’s never quite clear why he bothers with it all since what’s at stake is a princess he isn’t particularly interested in and a community of people he doesn’t really know — and who frankly don’t seem all that worth saving. His deadbeat dad up on Mount Olympus certainly isn't worth dying for nor are the battlefield compatriots he met barely a week prior. And while I’m sure that a few inviting glances from Gemma Arterton are positively delightful I wouldn’t risk being doused in flesh-eating scorpion venom for them.
This narrative oversight triggers a drain in enthusiasm that persists throughout the film. For a movie so epic in scale Clash of the Titans makes for a disappointingly bland ride. Leterrier’s CGI set pieces are at times magnificent but they’re proffered in the service of weak story filled with characters whose motivations are either unclear or unconvincing. During the film’s climax when Neeson’s Zeus utters the portentous words “Release the Kraken ” what should be an emotional high point instead feels perfunctory and anticlimactic. The only excitement it spawns comes from the knowledge that the end is mercifully imminent.
Just when he thought he was out they pull him back in. Recently retired Agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) now trains new IMF agents while maintaining a fairly normal life with his adorable--and very young--fiancé Julia (Michelle Monaghan). She has no idea what he really does or did for a living but she’s about to find out--the hard way. Ethan is called back to duty on a rescue mission when one of his trainees (Keri Russell) gets trapped in the field forcing him to cross paths with a nasty arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Things then turn personal when Davian swears vengeance against everything Ethan holds dear. So now on top of everything else Ethan--along with his crack team (Ving Rhames Jonathan Rhys Meyers Maggie Q)--has to go rogue to rescue his lady love. Geez the guy just can’t catch a break. No matter how overexposed Cruise is these days there really is no denying his onscreen charisma. He is perhaps one of the last true-blue movie screen idols. But it’s also nice to see Cruise handle the emotional side of being a secret agent. He shows Ethan’s internal strife in M:i III--the constant struggle of being damn good at his job and desperately wanting a normal happy life devoid of daredevil stunts masks and guns. Hoffman on the other hand--who usually plays weirdos and wimps--must have been tickled pink to get a chance to play this sort of villain. Although he is a tad more bark than bite in M:i III he definitely gives great face. And he gets to beat the crap outta Tom Cruise. What could be more fun than that? The rest of the cast fills in nicely: M:I veteran Rhames as Ethan’s stalwart right-hand man; Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne as IMF’s corporate honchos; and for a little comic relief Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg as an IMF tech-head. He gets all the best lines. J.J. baby you are definitely on a roll. In his first attempt at feature film director and co-writer J.J. Abrams the same young buck who brought us TV’s Alias and Lost pretty much hits the nail on the head with his M:I vision. He’s obviously had practice working within the whole spy milieu with Alias so taking it big screen probably wasn’t as difficult for him. Of course M:i III isn’t without faults. Abrams’ intent is to bring a human quality to secret agent Ethan Hunt but in doing so the story lapses a bit into the over sentimental. Thankfully there is plenty of action which comes at us fast and furious--from the dark and jumbled such as a helicopter chase through windmills to the death-defying such as freefalling from a skyscraper to land on another and slide down its glassy exterior performed by the leading man. Personally I think Cruise is just an adrenaline junkie but hey it makes for great cinema.