Birdman looks set to win big at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards after scooping four nominations. The drama has been shortlisted for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, while actors Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone have each landed a nod for their roles.
The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Boyhood closely follow with three nominations each, including the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture category, which is rounded out by The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Benedict Cumberbatch will compete against Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Keaton (Birdman) for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Jennifer Aniston has landed a leading actress nomination for her turn in Cake, and she will be up against Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Reese Witherspoon (Wild).
Nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role including Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash).
Keira Knightley is up for a supporting actress prize for her turn as codebreaker Joan Clarke and will compete against Boyhood's Patricia Arquette. Other nominees include Meryl Streep (Into the Woods), Emma Stone (Birdman) and Naomi Watts (St. Vincent).
In TV, Modern Family is the one to beat with four nominations across the comedy categories, while House of Cards scooped three nods in the drama categories.
The Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series category was expanded to six nominations due to a tie, and competitors include Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Claire Danes (Homeland), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), and Robin Wright (House of Cards).
Cumberbatch and Ruffalo are both up for two awards at the ceremony. In addition their movie prizes, they will compete for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Cumberbatch for his role in Sherlock: His Last Vow and Ruffalo for The Normal Heart.
The winners will be announced live on 25 January (15).
Glen A. Larson, the creator of hit TV shows including Knight Rider and Magnum, P.I., has died, aged 77. Larson passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles on Friday (14Nov14) following a battle with cancer of the oesophagus.
He began his career as a singer in 1950s pop group The Four Preps and later moved into composing theme songs for TV shows.
Larson went on to work behind the scenes in TV and is best known for creating a string of popular series including with Alias Smith and Jones in the 1970s, sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica, and murder mystery Quincy, M.E., which ran for seven years until 1983.
His most successful creations including Magnum, P.I. starring Tom Selleck, Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff, The Fall Guy, about a stunt driver-turned-bounty hunter, and The Six Million Dollar Man TV movies, which later spawned the action series.
Hasselhoff paid tribute to Larson on Twitter.com, writing, "Condolences to Glen Larsons (sic) family. Friend/creator of Knight Rider. Had 7 TV series at one time! Without him there'd be no KITT & Michael."
Edward James Olmos, who starred as Admiral Adam in the 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot series, adds, "Glen Larson, we thank you for the ride, you are battlestar, we will miss you. See you on the other side. #Sosayweall Admiral Adama."
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Notoriously creepy Ukrainian film "journalist" Vitalii Sediuk took a swing at Brad Pitt the red carpet premiere of Maleficent last night. If that name sounds familiar, it should: Sediuk has been playing a unsettling game of one-upsmanship with himself over the years, creating increasingly odd and unnerving run-ins with celebrities. Two years ago, the man attempted to kiss Will Smith at the Russian premiere of Men in Black 3, to which Smith reacted with a slap. Then, this month, Sediuk thought it was a good idea to actually crawl inside America Ferrera's dress at the Cannes Film Festival like he was subletting the place. Now this guy, who mysteriously evaded criminal charges after outright sexual assault, straight up punches none other than Brad Pitt in the face. Luckily, Pitt knows how to take a hit. From trading jabs with Edward Norton in Fight Club, to getting slogged by John Malkovich in Burn After Reading, there's a rich history of Brad Pitt getting clobbered on film. Here's a collection of Brad Pitt getting punched in the face... but these are movies, so it's okay:
Really, Norton? Who hits someone in the ear?
I guess everyone got tired of trying to figure out what the hell he was saying.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Just another date night in the Brangelina household.
Burn After Reading
Truth be told, Pitt's foul-mouthed character is so stupid in this movie, the whole audience was ready to punch him.
Pitt's character should have been punched a second time for thinking "El Trucko" was the correct translation for truck.
Pitt takes a break from galavanting with Robert Redford for some torture via fist.
Finally, Pitt gets "punched" by a spear in Troy. That definitely counts, right?
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection/Entertainment One via Everett Collection
Things are probably going to get a tad confusing on the set of Idol's Eye. Robert De Niro has joined the cast of Olivier Assayas' new film, starring opposite his fellow Robert, Twilight's own Robert Pattinson, via The Playlist. While much is still unknown about Assayas' follow-up to Clouds of Sils Maria, the film has been described as a sophisticated action-thriller.
The two Roberts make a curious pair of leads for a film, and while they share a first name, they couldn't be further apart on the Hollywood spectrum. One is an industry veteran that many would argue is the greatest living actor today, and the other made two Meet the Parents sequels. It's definitely an interesting match up.
Because arbitrarily comparing two things is the life blood of the Internet, there's only one thing left to do: it's time for a face-off. After all, there can only be one Robert. (Think about it. Do you know two Roberts? No, of course not!) We've decided to match up these two acting heavyweights in several categories from best reviewed film to best shirtless scene in a movie, in order to see which actor reigns supreme. The gauntlet has been thrown. Who is the best Robert in Hollywood?
HIGHEST GROSSING FILM
De NiroMeet the Fockers: $279,261,160
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: $896,911,078
WinnerPattinson. The numbers don't lie.
De NiroEvery second of Little Fockers
PattinsonSalvador Dali's mustache in Little Ashes
WinnerPattonson, whose career low is slightly less low. RPatz made a mockery of Dali in Little Ashes, but at least hardly anyone even remembers that one. A ton of people paid actual money to see Little Fockers. They were all very disappointed.
BEST REVIEWED FILM
De Niro The Godfather, Part II
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
WinnerDe Niro. The Godfather, Part II has an impeccable 99 percent on the Tomatometer while Robert Pattinson's best reviewed film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, only manages an 88 percent.
WORST REVIEWED FILM
WinnerPattinson. While Pattinson's Little Ashes sits at 24 percent on the Tomatometer, De Niro's horror-thriller Godsend has a dismal 4 percent of fresh reviews.
De NiroThe Creature from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
PattinsonEdward Cullen from Twilight
WinnerPattinson. Neither role would be considered a classic by any stretch, but Edward the sparkly vampire is definitely the more memorable of the two... for better or worse.
De NiroMax Caddy's grizzled, tatted up torso in Cape Fear
PattinsonEdward's shimmery vampire abs in Twilight
WinnterDe Niro. A shirtless Max Caddy manages to be way scarier than a bedazzled vampire, so this points go to Bobby D.
De NiroRaging Bull
WinnerDe Niro. Pattinson is surprisingly good in Cosmopolis, but Raging Bull is nothing short of an acting tour de force for De Niro.
But alas, Pattinson takes inherets the Robertian throne from the great Bobby D. But don't let that settle it for you; sound off with your thoughts below! Here's hoping Idol's Eye shows us something majestic from both of its stars.
Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River has been lambasted by movie critics following its premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival on Tuesday (20May14). The Notebook actor stepped behind the camera for the fantasy thriller, previously titled How To Catch A Monster, which stars Mad Men beauty Christina Hendricks as a struggling single mum who is drawn into a dark underworld in a mysterious town on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan.
The movie was unveiled this week, but it drew mixed reactions from attendees, many of whom booed the picture, while a few others tried to counter the negativity with a smatter of applause. Reviews for the film proved to be far from favourable, with Variety's Justin Chang branding it an "altogether inauspicious writing-directing debut for Ryan Gosling", and quipping, "Lost is indeed the operative word for this violent fairy tale".
The muddled storyline for the film, which also features former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as a neighbourhood troublemaker and Gosling's real-life girlfriend Eva Mendes as a nightclub boss who performs bloody rituals, also drew scathing comments from the Telegraph's Robbie Collin, who awarded it just one out of five stars and declared it "mouth-dryingly lousy". He noted similarities to the work of David Lynch, Gosling's Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and David Cronenberg, but added, "These filmmakers' ideas and imagery aren't developed, they're simply reproduced."
Kate Muir from The Times also dismissed the movie as a "lurid mash up of Lynch, Refn and (artist) Edward Hopper. In a bad way", while Mark Adams of ScreenDaily.com called the film "an over-cooked affair that lacks a much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions".
Singer Anita Baker has countersued a decorating company after she was accused of failing to pay an outstanding bill. Last month (Mar14), a judge issued a warrant for the Grammy winner's arrest over allegations she had failed to show up for a court hearing in Michigan relating a claim she owed $15,000 (£9,375) to bosses at Ray A. Smith Painting & Decorating.
The warrant was subsequently dismissed after Baker claimed she had been unaware of the legal action.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Edward Ewell ruled the lawsuit could still go ahead and set a hearing for 25 April (14), and now the singer has filed her own counter suit.
Her attorney claims the company "intended to put her in as embarrassing a light as possible".
The decorating firm's lawsuit was originally filed in 2011 after the company allegedly undertook renovation work at Baker's home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Jersey Boys is a big glitzy musical full of show-stopping, finely tuned musical numbers, and that signature layered sound that originally shuttled Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the top of the music charts in the '60s. Now, Clint Eastwood is looking to shrink the live theater experience into a film adaptation.
The first trailer for the Jersey Boys film has been released, and the upcoming flick looks to stick pretty closely to the source material. The original musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season, a couple of rough and tumble kids from Jersey that defied the odds and became pop music sensations. John Lloyd Young, the original Tony winning star of the show, is reprising his role as Valli for the film. The Jersey Boys film looks to carry over stage show's beguiling narration where each member of the Four Seasons tells a different, skewed version of the group's collective story. Breaking the fourth wall is a device used by many television shows and films, and while it remains to be seen whether Jersey Boys uses the device well, some works have used it better than others.
Warner Bros. UK Trailers/YouTube
Wolf of Wall Street Does it work: Yes. Scorsese's ode to excess uses the fourth wall device sparingly, having the crass Jordan Belfort unload his unholy sermons on the almighty dollar in only a few doses. It only happens a handful of times throughout the film so the technique never overstays it's welcome.
House of CardsDoes it work: It's a mixed bag. While it's sometimes fun to hear Frank Underwood deliver a vicious tongue lashing in that deep-throated southern drawl, many of the fourth wall breaking asides in House of Cards only serve as the delivery mechanism for mind numbing exposition. It's almost as if the show doesn't trust us to follow along with its political punches without Frank directly telling us what is happening.
Fight ClubDoes it work: Yes. Fight Club is often a call to action as much as it is a riotously loopy thriller. Both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton speak right to the audience while denouncing the shackling nature of our consumerist, image-obsessed culture.
Malcolm in the MiddleDoes it work: Yes, the episodes near-constant shattering of the narrative/audience barrier is in deeply coded into the DNA of the show. Malcolm in the Middle simply wouldn't be Malcolm in the Middle without Frankie Muniz's exacerbated asides to the camera. If you had a family like that, you'd probably start talking to an imaginary audience as well.
Ferris Bueller's Day OffDoes it work: An emphatic yes. Ferris' one day sabbatical from high school isn't just a solo adventure. You and everyone else in the audience is along for the ride. Part of the reason Ferris Bueller has endured over the years is because of Bueller's ability to seemingly warp and shape reality around him and ensure that everyone is having a good time. It's the ultimate teenage power fantasy, and you have you're own personal demigod tour guide.
Walt Disney Pictures via Everett Collection
Johnny Depp used to be relevant.
Films like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood established Depp as an idiosyncratic performer willing to appear in offbeat projects. Who can forget his iconic performance in Jim Jarmusch's revisionist Western Dead Man, or in Terry Gilliam's drug odyssey Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas? It seemed, for a while anyway, that Depp was a different kind of movie star. He was weird, for sure, but also accessible, and hundreds of teenage girls across the world idolized him and cherished his abnormality.
Then came Captain Jack Sparrow. To be fair, the first Pirates of the Caribbean is a great film, but the rest of the series represents a lazy attempt to cash in on the original chapter's unmatched excellence. Depp turned Sparrow into a caricature, and with each Pirates installment, the magic of the original performance rapidly diminished. If Depp wasn't making a Pirates movie, he could be seen in the latest Tim Burton project, or in The Rum Diary, a film that might as well be an inferior sequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not all of Depp's recent movies are trash, but most of them are, and at the very least they suggest that Depp is more interested in making money than making quality movies.
Depp's forthcoming big studio film Transcendence might just be the final nail in the coffin. Is Depp, the once enigmatic auteur performer of the 1990s, officially over?
There's certainly room for a comeback, but at the present moment, all signs suggest that Depp has lost his cultural and cinematic significance. Like Will Smith, Depp continues to appear in Hollywood blockbusters and makes a ton of money for doing so, but his films are hardly as influential or important as they were in the 1990s. Moreover, I think we can all agree that The Tourist and The Lone Ranger don't work as mainstream entertainment in the way the first Pirates does. This is important to point out, because it's not necessarily Depp's constant appearance in mainstream films that is his problem (after all, it works well for Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney), but his inability to distinguish between intelligent blockbusters and mindless drek.
I understand that show business is tough to crack, and everyone, even Depp, needs to make a living. Who am I, after all, to criticize his career choices? I get it. But Depp has committed arguably the worst sin possible for a movie star. He's spent years selling the audience on his unique star persona, only to appear in lame tent-pole productions that are void of creativity, originality, and respect for the audience. Was this Depp's plan all along, or did he unintentionally fall off track at some point?
We'll never know, but one thing is certain: the jig is up, and the name Johnny Depp barely generates excitement from the same people who hung his poster on their bedroom walls. What do you think? Cast your vote below.
Soul legend Anita Baker is no longer a wanted woman after a judge in Michigan withdrew an arrest warrant issued over an outstanding home decorating bill. The veteran singer hit headlines last week (19Mar14) when a lawyer for Ray A. Smith Painting & Decorating bosses, who had worked on her Gross Pointe home, accused her of failing to show for a court hearing relating to allegations of an outstanding payment of $15,000 (£9,375).
Baker took to her Twitter.com page on Thursday (20Mar14) to reveal her shock after learning about the warrant from a TV report, writing, "WHATTT??!! (sic)... sittin' (sic) in the kitchen watching this on TV. BIG time crazy. Atty (attorney) on his way to TV Station. Devil sho (sure) is busy."
The 56 year old had apparently been unaware of the legal action taken against her, and her lawyer managed to get the warrant dismissed on Monday (24Mar14).
However, Wayne County Circuit Judge Edward Ewell ruled that the lawsuit would still be allowed to continue and set a new hearing for April (14).
The plaintiffs filed papers against the star in 2011.
A new challenger appears!
Just when The Hunger Games was getting comfortable at its place at the top of the young adult novel food chain, the Divergent series has come to give The Hunger Games a run for its money, and maybe become the new top dog in town. In Divergent, Shailene Woodley plays Tris, a teenaged member of a future version of Chicago that separates people into five factions based on their personalities, and as in all young adult novels, it's up to her to save the world. So how does Tris stack up with heroines from other novels. We wondered what would happen if Hermione from Harry Potter, Katniss from the Hunger Games, Bella from Twilight, all got into a Hunger Games-style battle royale. So down goes the gauntlet. Which Young Adult novel heroine would win in an all out, knock-down, drag-out battle for book-to-film adaptation bragging rights?
The pesky know it all, and loyal companion to the boy who lived, Harry Potter.
Weapons: Magic wand, bottomless purse full of plot contrivances
Strengths: Hermione has the distinct advantage of knowing everything that has to do with everything. She can pull out a life-saving piece of knowledge, or the exact necessary magical gadget for any given situation faster than you can say "deus ex machina." Also, she knows freakin' magic which should, you know, help considerably.
Weaknesses: This is a fight after all and Hermione Granger is much more of an idea person than a fighter. Throughout the books and movies, we see her mostly on the sidelines of the action, while Ron and Harry do most of the fighting. She would easily outsmart any of the other combatants on the list, but if things come to fisticuffs (or, to be more precise, wandicuffs), she might be in a spot of trouble.
Grade: 7 out of 10. Hermione is like the Sun Tzu of this list. She dwarfs the rest of the field in terms of intellect and strategy, but she doesn’t have the killer instinct like the rest of the YA heroines. Magic is obviously a huge advantage, but we doubt she’d ever cast out an unforgivable curse if things get really dire.
Bella Swan is the love sick protagonist of The Twilight Series
Weapons: Vampire strength, extreme yearning, shiny skin
Strengths: In the latter half of the series, Bella is turned into a full-fledged vampire, and her transformation comes equipped with all the benefits that come with being a member of the undead: increased strength, super speed, sharp fangs, sparkly daytime tan. All the classic vampire powers are there. Honestly, it would be terribly difficult for any of the other fighters to best Bella Swan... well, except for one thing...
Weakness: Bella would be the top dog in this fight, if it she weren’t so darn distracted all the time. Seriously, she spends so much of her time hemming and hawing between Jacob and Edward, or just staring vacantly at things, she probably wouldn’t notice arrows being flung at her. It also doesn’t help that she’s easily entranced by shiny objects like Edward’s sparkly abs, disco balls, and jingling keys. She's also constantly tripping or falling over everything so there's that.
Grade: 6 out of 10. Given her super vampire powers, Bella would and should absolutely wreck her competition in the battle, but she spends so much of her time pre-transformation not doing much besides pining for her would be suitors. We don't know how much of an actual fight she would put up if she really had to get her hands dirty.
Katniss Everdeen is the central character in the latest YA explosion The Hunger Games.
Weaponry: Bow and arrow, the country's affection
Strengths: Katniss is an incredibly gifted archer who can sink an arrow into a dastardly career tribute at 500 paces. She also has a steely determination to do what’s right, and is wonderfully resourceful when push comes to shove, as it often does in her frequent brushes with death.
Weakness: For all of Katniss’ strengths in the arena, she isn’t the most sociable, or even likeable, person to be around. She has a pretty prickly personality, and even though her dispostition changes ithroughout the series, she’s never what we’d call charismatic. In addition, her pretend boyfriend Peeta is pretty useless, and she has to spend about half of Catching Fire making sure he didn't die.
Grade: 9 out of 10. She probably couldn’t talk her way out of a sticky situation, but Katniss is a deadly fighter who will put you down in an instant if need be. This girl has a wicked killer instinct. If you want to defeat Katniss, focus your energy on Peeta. Give him an easy sudoku puzzle or a mildly difficult crossword, (basically anything not cake related) and he’ll find some way to put Katniss’ life in danger. She’ll be like putty in your hands.
The multifaceted heroine of the upcoming film Divergent.
Weapons: Knives, her hands, having more than one talent
Strengths: Being a member of Dauntless, the warrior class of future Chicago, Tris has received training in various types of weaponry, including throwing knives and guns, which makes her a adaptable fighter. She is also divergent, which allows her to control her fears in a way that the other YA heroines simply cant.
Weaknesses: Unlike the other combatants, Tris doesn’t seem to have any one debilitating weakness. She’s equal parts brave, intelligent, and selfless. Her boyfriend Four is infinitely more useful than Peeta (though he can’t bake, so score one for Peeta), and she doesn’t need to spend any time locked in a love triangle, since she only ever set her sights on one guy.
Grade: 8 out of 10. Tris’ main advantage is that her being such a well-rounded person. Her being “divergent” means she can adapt her personality to fit a number of situations. She’s not the strongest of the competitors, nor the weakest, but she’s darn capable and rests firmly in the middle of the pack
So after some brandishing of teeth, a couple nasty wingardium Leviosa's, and a flurry of arrows, it looks like Katniss Everdeen has the advatage. She has the right mix of experience, training, and resourcefulness to topple some of the more supernaturally gifted participants in the battle. But this is just one opinion. Who do you think would win in the battle for book-to-film adaptation supremacy?