Were you paying attention to the big screen and all the Hollywood happenings in 2014? We thought we'd kick off the New Year with a quick look back over the last 12 months of WENN movie news and pose a few questions to one and all that might just help you recall some magical moments at the cinema, or some hot gossip from the year just gone.
The prize for the winner? Bragging rights and a front row seat to the 2015 Oscars in your own living room! Best of luck!
1. The Fault in Our Stars was based on a book written by which author?
a. John Green
b. John White
c. James Green
d. James Brown
2. What song did not feature on the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy?
a. I'm Not in Love
b. Mama Told Me Not to Come
c. Spirit in the Sky
d. Hooked on a Feeling
3. From which hit animated movie did the catchy tune Everything is Awesome come?
a. Muppets Most Wanted
b. The Lego Movie
c. How to Train Your Dragon 2
d. Mr Peabody and Sherman
4. Game of Thrones star Kit Harington starred in which epic disaster film based on true events?
b. 300: Rise of an Empire
5. The son of which longtime Hollywood couple starred alongside Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street?
a. Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
b. Oliver Hudson, son of Bill Hudson and Goldie Hawn
c. Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
d. Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
6. Which of the following was not a cast member in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?
a. Andy Serkis
b. James Franco
c. Jason Clarke
d. Gary Oldman
7. Get On Up was a biopic based on the life of which legendary musician?
a. James Brown
b. Stevie Wonder
c. George Clinton
d. Smokey Robinson
8. Which Hollywood veteran portrayed the family matriarch in This Is Where I Leave You?
a. Anjelica Huston
b. Jane Fonda
c. Bette Midler
d. Dame Judi Dench
9. Which musical did The Amazing Spider-Man star Emma Stone make her Broadway debut in?
d. Les Miserables
10. Which one of these celebrities was NOT part of Ellen DeGeneres' famous 'selfie' taken during the 2014 Academy Awards?
a. Channing Tatum
b. Kevin Spacey
c. Matthew McConaughey
d. Jared Leto
11. Which actress celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary to her tennis pro husband on New Year's Eve?
a. Ashley Tisdale
b. Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting
c. Naya Rivera
d. Ginnifer Goodwin
12. Who will play the villain in the next James Bond movie?
a. Quentin Tarantino
b. Mark Strong
c. Christoph Waltz
d. Bryan Cranston
13. Which country do the two actors who played Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma come from?
14. Who rang in 2014 with Charlize Theron and has since become her boyfriend?
a. Sean Penn
b. Chris Pratt
c. Mark Wahlberg
d. Joaquin Phoenix
15. Name new mum Scarlett Johansson's daughter.
16. Which famous Jessica played Matthew McConaughey's grown-up daughter in Interstellar?
a. Jessica Alba
b. Jessica Biel
c. Jessica Chastain
d. Jessica Lange
17. Which Brit picked up the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May for his portrayal of grumpy artist J.W. Turner?
a. Colin Firth
b. Timothy Spall
c. Ray Winstone
d. Alan Rickman
18. What was the highest grossing movie of 2014?
a. Transformers: Age of Extinction
b. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
c. Guardians of the Galaxy
d. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
19. Which awards season favourite was filmed over 12 years?
20. In what film did Jennifer Lawrence debut her singing voice, scoring a chart hit all around the world?
a. Silver Linings Playbook
b. American Hustle
c. X-Men: Days of Future Past
d. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
21. What is the bestselling music soundtrack on iTunes this year?
c. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
d. Guardians of the Galaxy
22. He ended 2014 a newlywed with a hit movie, called The Theory of Everything. Name the British actor who married fiancee Hannah Bagshawe in England on 15 December.
a. Benedict Cumberbatch
b. Timothy Spall
c. Eddie Redmayne
d. Colin Firth
23. Why did model-turned-actress Milla Jovovich announce she was putting the next film in her Resident Evil franchise on hold in August?
a. Script problems
b. Financial issues
c. Her director husband Paul W.S. Anderson had abandoned the movie
d. She was pregnant
24. In 2014, this actor played Moses and became a new dad. Name him.
a. Joel Edgerton
b. Chris Pratt
c. Christian Bale
d. Mark Wahlberg
25. Another new dad, Chris Hemsworth, was named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2014, but who's the lucky actress, the mother of his kids, who gets to cuddle up to him every night?
a. Eva Mendes
b. Elsa Pataky
c. Scarlett Johansson
d. Jessica Alba
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).
Gone Girl and The Imitation Game were the big winners at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards on Friday night (14Nov14) after taking home seven honors between them.
The David Fincher thriller, starring Ben Affleck as a cheating husband who is suspected of killing his wife, earned the top prize of Hollywood Film, while Gillian Flynn took home the Hollywood Screenwriter award for turning her bestselling book into a movie of the same name.
The Imitation Game was a quadruple winner, earning Benedict Cumberbatch Hollywood Actor and Keira Knightley Hollywood Supporting Actress for their portrayals of famous World War Two encryption specialists Alan Turing and Joan Clarke, while filmmaker Morten Tyldum was named Hollywood Director and Alexandre Desplat earned the title of Hollywood Film Composer.
New dad Robert Downey, Jr. took time out of diaper duties to celebrate his The Judge co-star Robert Duvall as Hollywood Supporting Actor, the first award of the night, while Angelina Jolie honored Jack O'Connell with the New Hollywood award for his performance as Olympian-turned-war hero Louis Zamperini in Unbroken.
The Hollywood Film Awards, which recognize "excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking", serves as the official launch of the Hollywood awards season. The ceremony was hosted by Queen Latifah from the Hollywood Palladium and featured appearances from Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Depp, Laura Dern, Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Robert Pattinson, Hilary Swank, Jonah Hill and Geena Davis.
The main list of winners at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards is:
Hollywood Film - Gone Girl
Hollywood Blockbuster - Guardians of the Galaxy
Hollywood Actor - Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Actress - Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Hollywood Supporting Actor - Robert Duvall, The Judge
Hollywood Supporting Actress - Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Breakout Performance, Actor - Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Hollywood Breakout Performance, Actress - Shailene Woodley, The Fault In Our Stars
Hollywood Director - Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Breakthrough Director - Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild
Hollywood Screenwriter - Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Hollywood Ensemble - Foxcatcher
Hollywood Career Achievement - Michael Keaton
New Hollywood - Jack O'Connell, Unbroken
Hollywood Documentary - Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Hollywood Comedy Film - Top Five
Hollywood Animation - How To Train Your Dragon 2
Hollywood Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Hollywood International - Jing Tian
Hollywood Visual Effects - Scott Farrar, Transformers: Age of Extinction
Hollywood Film Composer - Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hollywood Song - Janelle Monae, Rio 2
Hollywood Costume Design - Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hollywood Editor - Jay Cassidy and Dody Dorn, Fury
Hollywood Production Design - Dylan Cole and Gary Freeman, Maleficent
Hollywood Sound - Ren Klyce, Gone Girl
Hollywood Makeup and Hairstyling - David White and Elizabeth Yanni-Georgiou, Guardians of the Galaxy.
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayals of real-life World War Two code breakers took a blow on the set of their new film when they couldn't even solve a simple crossword puzzle. The two Brits play famous encryption specialists Joan Clarke and Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, but it was clear they were just pretending to be super-smart when they decided to see if their characters' problem solving skills had rubbed off on them.
Knightley recalls, "One day we decided we should all really do the crossword. So we got the quick crossword, there were five of us, it took us five days, and we still didn't finish it. We were really bad at all of it."
And the actress admits she struggled with basic equations when a mathematics expert was brought in to help the cast become boffins: "I didn't understand any of it... It was that feeling I haven't had since school... when you sort of feel like you've died, of not being able to concentrate at all. And I desperately wanted to because he was such a nice man.
"I was thinking, 'This is really interesting, I should be paying attention'. But I couldn't."
Benedict Cumberbatch's codebreaking drama The Imitation Game has been chosen to open the BFI London Film Festival in October (14). The Sherlock star portrays British computer expert Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma codes during World War II. Keira Knightley also stars as fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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This morning Neil Patrick Harris and Aaron Paul, fillng in for Kate Mara, whose flight was delayed, announced the 2013 Emmy Awards nominations. Here's the full list of nominees. Did your favorite make the cut?
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey Damian Lewis, Homeland Kevin Spacey, House of Cards Jon Hamm, Mad Men Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey Claire Danes, Homeland Robin Wright, House of Cards Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Connie Britton, Nashville Kerry Washington, Scandal
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra Toby Jones, The Girl Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade's End Al Pacino, Phil Spector
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum Laura Linney, The Big C Helen Mirren, Phil Spector Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars Heidi Klum, Project Runway Tim Gunn, Project Runway Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance Anthony Bourdain, The Taste
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series Jason Bateman, Arrested Development Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory Matt Leblanc, Episodes Don Cheadle, House of Lies Louis C.K., Louie Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series Laura Dern, Enlightened Lena Dunham, Girls Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation Tina Fey, 30 Rock Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Reality - Competition Program The Amazing Race Dancing With The Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can DanceTop Chef The Voice
Outstanding Variety Series The Colbert Report The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Jimmy Kimmel Live Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Real Time With Bill Maher Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie American Horror Story: Asylum Behind The Candelabra The Bible Phil Spector Political Animals Top Of The Lake
Outstanding Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Girls Louie 30 Rock Veep
Outstanding Drama Series Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game Of Thrones Homeland House Of Cards Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad Jim Carter, Downton Abbey Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones Morena Baccarin, Homeland Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.