Author

Matt Patches
After a few years of working behind the scenes on movies and TV shows (and earning an IMDb page for bragging rights), Movies Editor Matt Patches made a hard right into the world of entertainment journalism. In 2009, Patches became the Associate Movies Editor of UGO.com, departing in 2010 to go rogue as a writer-for-hire. Patches covered movies and festivals for a number of outlets, including Movieline, MTV NextMovie, CinemaBlend, and Film School Rejects, before joining Hollywood.com as Movies Editor in 2011. He proudly names "Groundhog Day" as his favorite movie of all time.
  • Seth MacFarlane's Oscars Opening: Half 'Family Guy,' Half Showstopper, All Solid
    By: Matt Patches Feb 24, 2013
    On paper, no entertainer working today fit the Oscar host bill quite like Seth MacFarlane: He's the mastermind behind Family Guy, the animated sitcom that's hooked millions of young audience members; he's successfully ventured into films with his mega-hit, R-rated comedy Ted; and he's a performer at heart — one who can rattle off-topic, risqué jokes while paying homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood. (Did we mention he cut a big band crooner album in 2011?) MacFarlane is a natural born showman who has never been given a stage. RELATED: Oscars 2013: See the Winners! So it makes sense that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would hand over Oscar duties to a Renaissance man like MacFarlane. Going into the 84th Academy Awards, it was clear that the Broadway-inclined Zadan and Meron wanted a show that felt like a show. There were dance numbers planned, hints of a musical extravaganzas, and the promise of a full-fledged song-and-dance man in the leading role. The duo knew that by hiring MacFarlane, they would have a host who would pull out all the stops. Even if you don't enjoy his humor, MacFarlane isn't the type to phone it in. But was "pulling out all the stops" what the Oscars needed? Well, it certainly helped. MacFarlane took the stage like hosts of years past, ready to lay down one-liners and roast the Oscars' nominees. He started off with just enough inside baseball to land a joke that played to the in-house audience and the one billion people watching at home. "Quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now." And he succeeded! The cranky Lincoln costar cracked a smile and got a huge laugh from the theatre. A good star for MacFarlane. MacFarlane's zinger-filled intro only got better. From a jab at the Academy for snubbing Ben Affleck to a "remember that guy?" nod to 2012's Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin, MacFarlane kept the jokes coming and straight down the middle — fears of racy humor quickly dissipated. MacFarlane's biggest issue was contending with the assault of humor flooding the web via Twitter. His Daniel Day-Lewis/method acting joke about cell phones felt... old. Blame it on the comedians who can react in real time on everyone's favorite social media tool. But MacFarlane was always ready to shake any flops away — name-dropping Rihanna and Chris Brown quickly sent the room into a fit of laughter. Mission accomplished. A few minutes into MacFarlane's bit, the most MacFarlane-y moment occurred: William Shatner interrupted the monologue in character as Captain Kirk, with a message from the future. Apparently, MacFarlane's planned opening flops with the critics. So everything he's about to do, he has to scrap. Kirk has taped evidence. The show cuts to MacFarlane in an extravagant musical number. "We Saw Your Boobs" runs down all the actresses in the audience who have revealed it all on camera. This is the MacFarlane R-rated humor we were all anticipating. RELATED: William Shatner Makes History at Oscars It ends up working quite well. With a pre-recorded segment, MacFarlane worked the women of the Oscars into his bit — Jennifer Lawrence cheering when MacFarlane announces that she's never bared her breasts in a movie might be the high point of the evening — and integrated his signature style. The "time travel" element may have been incredibly geeky (and really, MacFarlane needed a way to inject a dose of nostalgic pop culture into the mix), but it gave him the ability to jump between raunchy comedy and pure classy musical numbers. Tapping into his love for the old school, MacFarlane balanced his ridiculous song and dance with a number of Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron ballroom dancing and a trio musical number between MacFarlane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Daniel Radcliffe. Everyone won with this year's opening. Hollywood fans saw major stars strut their stuff under MacFarlane's swinging vocals, and fans of Family Guy saw their patron work his magic in bits like the sock puppet remake of Flight or the random Sally Field/Flying Nun backstage sketch. The funniest opening in Oscar history? Far from it, but MacFarlane clearly has an understanding of what an Oscar host needs to accomplish in an intro and a respect for the art of pulling it off. His act wasn't terribly far off from Academy Award go to Bob Hope — it was a straight down the middle performance that simultaneously mocked Hollywood and embraced it. MacFarlane has the musician's edge too. The producers didn't have to force him into a dance number. He wrote them in himself. MacFarlane may take heat for not playing it as risky as he could. But it only works out for him in the end: on Oscar night, he delivered the kind of opening that gets a host invited back. <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6919137/">What Did You Think of Seth MacFarlane's Oscar Opening?</a> [Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images] Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz) Oscars 2013 Special Coverage Oscars 2013 Red Carpet Arrivals: PICS! • Anne Hathaway: Oscar’s Worst Dressed?• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• The Worst Best Picture Winner Ever• Oscar's Problem With Pretty Boys• Why Stars Should Fear Seth MacFarlane• Oscars 2013: The Full Winners List• The Winner, According to You  
  • Kristen Stewart, 'Twilight' Named 'Worst' By Razzies — See All the Losers
    By: Matt Patches Feb 24, 2013
    Movie-viewing recommendations I have for the voting committee of The Golden Raspberry Awards if they really think The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is the worst movie of the year: the tone deaf Joyful Noise; John Cuasck's awful thriller The Raven; the rom-com void of love, This Means War; heck, Pixar's Brave is near unwatchable. At least Breaking Dawn has camp. As with tradition, The Golden Raspberry Awards aka The Razzies have taken to the stage on Oscar morning to announce their picks for the Worst movies, actors, and actresses of the year and once again, they've set Twilight in their shaming crosshairs. The final entry of the supernatural romance franchise — easily the pinnacle of the entire series — earned Twilight its first Worst Picture win, after years of nominations and wins in acting categories. Overall, the movie earned seven nominations, with Adam Sandler and Rihanna sneaking in to spice things up. RELATED: Oscars: What Should Win Best Picture? — POLL Check out the full list of nominations and winners below. Then check out some of the above films and ask yourself (if you survive the experience): did The Razzies really get it right? Worst PictureBattleshipThe Oogieloves in Big Balloon AdventureThat’s My BoyA Thousand WordsThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Worst DirectorSean Anders – That’s My BoyPeter Berg – BattleshipBill Condon – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Tyler Perry – Good Deeds / Madea’s Witness ProtectionJohn Putch – Atlas Shrugged: Part II Worst Actress
Katherine Heigl – One for the Money
Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution
Tyler Perry – Madea’s Witness Protection
Kristen Stewart – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II / Snow White and the Huntsman 
Barbra Streisand – The Guilt Trip Worst ActorNicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance / Seeking JusticeEddie Murphy – A Thousand WordsRobert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IITyler Perry – Alex Cross / Good DeedsAdam Sandler – That’s My Boy 

 Worst Supporting ActressJessica Biel – Playing For Keeps / Total RecallBrooklyn Decker – Battleship / What to Expect When You’re ExpectingAshley Greene – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IIJennifer Lopez – What to Expect When You’re ExpectingRihanna – Battleship RELATED: 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes Worst Supporting Actor
David Hasselhoff – Pirannha 3-DD
Taylor Lautner – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IILiam Neeson – Battleship / Wrath of the Titans
Nick Swardson – That’s My Boy
Vanilla Ice – That’s My Boy Worst Screen Ensemble
BattleshipThe Oogieloves in Big Balloon AdventureThat’s My BoyThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part IIMadea’s Witness Protection Worst Screenplay
Atlas Shrugged Part II
Battleship
That’s My Boy 
A Thousand Words
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel
Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
Pirannha 3-DD
Red Dawn
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
Madea’s Witness Protection Worst Screen Couple
Any two cast members from Jersey Shore in The Three Stooges
Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
Tyler Perry and his drag in Madea’s Witness Protection
Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, or Susan Sarandon in That’s My Boy Oscars 2013 Special Coverage 15 Most Iconic Red Carpet Dresses • We Predict the Winners: Do You Agree?• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• The Worst Best Picture Winner Ever• Oscar's Problem With Pretty Boys• Why Stars Should Fear Seth MacFarlane• 10 TV Stars You Never Knew Won Oscars• The Winner, According to You
  • Independent Spirit Awards 2013: See All the Winners
    By: Matt Patches Feb 23, 2013
    Each year, the night before the Academy Awards, the world of independent cinema gathers in New York City to honor the best of the best from outside the studio system. Ranging from no-budget, down and dirty indies to Sundance breakouts to talent-filled productions that wooed the studios enough to find major distribution, the Independent Spirit Awards bestow their honors to an entirely separate list of nominees. Saturday night, show host Andy Samberg and a slew of famous faces handed out the awards. Here's a full rundown of the nominees and winners (marked in bold as they're announced!): Best FeatureBeasts of the Southern WildBernieKeep the Lights OnMoonrise KingdomSilver Linings Playbook Best DirectorBenh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern WildIra Sachs, Keep the Lights OnJulia Loktev, The Loneliest PlanetWes Anderson, Moonrise KingdomDavid O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook Best ActorJack Black, BernieBradley Cooper, Silver Linings PlaybookJohn Hawkes, The SessionsThure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights OnMatthew McConaughey, Killer JoeWendell Pierce, Four RELATED: Our 2013 Oscar Predictions: Prepare for Your Oscar Pool Best ActressLinda Cardellini, ReturnEmayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of NowhereJennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings PlaybookQuvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern WildMary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed Best Supporting ActorMatthew McConaughey, Magic MikeDavid Oyelowo, Middle of NowhereMichael Peña, End of Watch Sam Rockwell, Seven PsychopathsBruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom Best Supporting ActressRosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister's SisterAnn Dowd, ComplianceHelen Hunt, The SessionsBrit Marling, Sound of My VoiceLorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere Best ScreenplayIra Sachs, Keep the Lights OnWes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise KingdomZoe Kazan, Ruby SparksMartin McDonagh, Seven PsychopathsDavid O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

 Best First FeatureFill the VoidGimme the LootThe Perks of Being a WallflowerSafety Not GuaranteedSound of My Voice Best First ScreenplayRashida Jones and Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse ForeverRama Burshtein, Fill the VoidJonathan Lisecki, GaybyChristopher Ford, Robot and FrankDerek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed RELATED: Ocsars: What Should Win Best Picture? — POLL Best DocumentaryThe Central Park FiveHow to Survive a PlagueThe Invisible WarMarina Abramovic: The Artist is PresentThe Waiting Room Best Foreign FilmAmourOnce Upon a Time in AnatoliaRust and BoneSisterWar Witch

 Best CinematographyBen Richardson, Beasts of the Southern WildRoman Vasyanov, End of WatchLol Crawley, HereRobert Yeoman, Moonrise KingdomYoni Brook, Valley of Saints John Cassavetes AwardBreakfast With CurtisThe Color WheelMiddle of NowhereMosquita y MariStarlet From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
  • Oscars: What Should Win Best Picture? — POLL
    By: Matt Patches Feb 23, 2013
    As much fun as the Oscars are — and for those catching movies for the past year, it's something of a pop culture Super Bowl — Hollywood's biggest night doesn't always speak to the audiences' opinions. Behind-the-scenes politics, industry friendships, and a push to bestow up-and-comers with awards all play a part in who walks away with gold statues. "Best" may not really be the best in the end. RELATED: Robert Redford and Obama Ask: Is Gun Violence in Movies a Problem? So while we're anxious to see if our predictions for the Academy Awards are right, we also want to know what you think deserves to take home the coveted Best Picture of the Year award. Is it Ben Affleck's true life thriller Argo? Tarantino's stylized Western Django Unchained? The bittersweet French drama Amour? Spielberg's grand ode to Abraham Lincoln? Vote in our poll and then check out some of our Oscar coverage highlights from the whirlwind award season. <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6915325/">What 2012 Movie Should Win Best Picture?</a> Check out these Oscar-themed stories: Seth Macfarlane At The Oscars: Why Ben Affleck Should Be NervousToo Pretty For Oscar Gold: Is There A Male Double-standard In Hollywood?Oscar's Best and Worst Musical PerformancesThe Oscar Speech Oscars: 20 Best (and Worst) Academy Award Speeches10 Actors Who Won Oscars For The Wrong Movie Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company(2); Sony Pictures Classics; Columbia Pictures; 20th Century Fox; Warner Bros. Pictures; Universal Pictures; Fox Searchlight; Touchstone Pictures] From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz) Oscars 2013 Special Coverage Oscars 2013 Red Carpet Arrivals: PICS! • Anne Hathaway: Oscar’s Worst Dressed?• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• The Worst Best Picture Winner Ever• Oscar's Problem With Pretty Boys• Why Stars Should Fear Seth MacFarlane• Oscars 2013: The Full Winners List• The Winner, According to You  
  • Our 2013 Oscar Predictions: Prepare for Your Betting Pool!
    By: Matt Patches Feb 22, 2013
    More so than the Emmys, the Grammys, or Uncle Ted's "Best Barbecue Sauces of the Year Awards" (everyone has one of those, right?), the annual Academy Awards ceremony feels the most like pop culture's attempt at a sporting event. There's pre-show entertainment, a major competition, and enough dancing to fill a half-time show. If this year's Oscars suffers a power outage, they'll have gone full on Super Bowl. And as with all great contests, the betting pool has become an essential part of the night's festivities. To prepare you for cinematic throwdown of 2013 — in hopes that you walk away with a few bucks in your pockets — we've compiled our predictions for this year's Oscars. Be forewarned: unlike the folks at the esteemed Psychic Sports Network, we don't claim to have supernatural powers allowing us to perfectly call the winners. But we have done our research. Here's what we've come up with: Best Picture Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty Will Win: Argo Thanks to a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the portrayal of torture and its political ripple effect, Kathryn Bigelow's sweeping look at the 10-year hunt for Osama bin Laden exited the contender conversation by the time it opened wide in January. Riding Ben Affleck's epic Best Director snub, Argo took ZDT's place as the favorite. A win for Affleck's ripped from the headlines thriller will put it in a select group of movies that have won without their directors picking up, let alone being nominated for, a statue. With all the hype surrounding Argo's win, there is a chance that the blaring sounds of other award groups are clouding the true winner. Lincoln or Silver Linings Playbook could sneak up after months of raves. RELATED: The Oscar Speech Oscars: 20 Best (and Worst) Academy Award Speeches Best Director Should Win: Michael Haneke Will Win: Steven Spielberg With Affleck out of the ring, there are two major contenders in this category: the legend, Steven Spielberg, for his restrained, theatrical work in Lincoln (a departure for the king of blockbusters) or Ang Lee, who employed 3D and CG effects to new artistic degrees in Life of Pi. Without a director tied to the Best Picture win, the Academy could hand this one to Lee just for his painterly decisions behind the camera. But we'll side with Spielberg — a safe bet when tradition has been thrown out the window. Likely winners aside, we wouldn't mind seeing Amourdirector Michael Haneke picking this one up for his elegant study of aging. Quiet and devastating — no special effects required. See More Oscar Predictions:Best Actor and ActressBest Supporting Actor and ActressBest Screenplay, Cinematography, Song, and More Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures] Best Actor Should Win: Joaquin Phoenix in The Master Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln This Oscar was Day-Lewis' the minute a snapshot of the bearded actor was released from set. He's not playing Lincoln in Lincoln. He's living Lincoln. That said, this will be Day-Lewis' third Oscar win, and we'd be okay with spreading the wealth. How about the unhinged, mentally chaotic stylings of Joaquin Phoenix in The Master? It's a raw performance, as physical as Day-Lewis' gentle Lincoln, with the added layer of visceral outbursts. RELATED: Too Pretty For Oscar Gold: Is There a Male Double-Standard in Hollywood? Best Actress Should Win: Emmanuelle Riva in Amour Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook Lawrence is fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook, a complex female ally for Bradley Cooper's depressed leading man. The Academy loves acknowledging the next wave of A-Listers, and there are few more worthy than Lawrence. If the Academy decides to wait on giving Lawrence her first (and certainly not last) Oscar, they may (and should) throw it to Emmanuelle Riva, who at 85 years old put herself through the ringer to terrify us with the prospect of losing oneself to time. Stunning, but not particularly "Hollywood." See More Oscar Predictions:Best Picture and DirectorBest Supporting Actor and ActressBest Screenplay, Cinematography, Song, and More Best Supporting Actor Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master Will Win: Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook The last time De Niro won an Oscar was in 1981 for Raging Bull. Since, he hasn't done many movies that deserve the attention of the Academy Award. That changes with Silver Linings Playbook and, even with fierce competition (Supporting Actor is the most up in the air of all categories), expect the Academy to jump at the chance to award him again. In a just world, this would be Philip Seymour Hoffman taking home his second statue for his spine-tingling work in The Master. But who can blame the Academy for wanting De Niro to reclaim his former glory? RELATED: 10 Actors Who Won Oscars For The Wrong Movie Best Supporting Actress Should Win: Anne Hathaway Will Win: Anne Hathaway Oh, just give it to her already! Her "I Dream a Dream" is the knockout movie moment of 2012. That's what "Supporting" is all about and Hathaway, despite a sliver of the world outright despising her, deserves the career boost that the Oscar delivers. See More Oscar Predictions:Best Picture and DirectorBest Actor and ActressBest Screenplay, Cinematography, Song, and More Best Adapted Screenplay Will Win: Argo Best Original Screenplay Will Win: Django Unchained Best Animated Feature Will Win: Brave Best Cinematography Will Win: Life of Pi RELATED: Oscars 2013: How To Watch All The Nominated Films Best Costume Design Will Win: Mirror Mirror Best Production Design Will Win: Lincoln Best Documentary Feature Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man Best Editing Will Win: Argo Best Foreign Language Will Win: Amour Best Makeup and Hairstyling Will Win: Les Misérables Best Original Score Will Win: Life of Pi, Michael Dynna Best Original Song Will Win: "Skyfall" from Skyfall Best Sound Editing Will Win: Skyfall Best Sound Mixing Will Win: Les Misérables Best Visual Effects Will Win: Life of Pi Best Documentary Short Will Win: Redemption Best Live Action Short Will Win: Curfew Best Animated Short Will Win: Paperman From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz) Oscars 2013 Special Coverage Oscars 2013 Red Carpet Arrivals: PICS! • Anne Hathaway: Oscar’s Worst Dressed?• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• The Worst Best Picture Winner Ever• Oscar's Problem With Pretty Boys• Why Stars Should Fear Seth MacFarlane• Oscars 2013: The Full Winners List• The Winner, According to You  
  • 'Snitch' Star Jon Bernthal Explains How He Ended Up in a Russian Acting School
    By: Matt Patches Feb 21, 2013
    After winning over the hearts of millions by acting like a total jackass as Shane on The Walking Dead, Jon Bernthal has become an in-demand name — even to play parts with an ounce of sympathy. In the new movie Snitch, Bernthal plays Daniel James, a man getting back on his feet, putting a life of crime behind him in hopes of maintaining a job and providing for his family. Unfortunately, his new boss (The Rock) is looking to break into the drug dealing scene in order to bust members of a cartel and leverage his son, who is facing his own time in the slammer. Given an offer he can't refuse, Daniel returns to the ugly world of smuggling and feels pretty darn horrible about it. RELATED: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Fondly Remembers Playing a 'Part Scorpion, Part Man' Blame it on his work as Shane and his general appearance as a man who could beat the crap out of me, er, anybody, it's a surprise to see Bernthal pull off a sympathetic character. His ability to play any part on the spectrum is rooted in his unique backstory: growing up in Washington D.C. and ending up ditching college for Russian acting school. "I was really into sports. I played sports in high school and in college," says Bernthal. His lifelong extracurricular quickly took a back seat when he discovered the world of dramatic arts. "I met this wonderful acting teacher named Alma Becker. Once I found acting, I really wanted to straighten out my life. She told me about the Moscow Art Theater, a great theater school in Russia. Stanislavski school, Michael Chekhov school, Anton Chekhov school." RELATED: 'Snitch' Rips From Headlines to Deliver The Rock's Best Performance Yet When reflecting on what Russian training taught him, Bernthal dabbles in the poetic. He cites an "unbelievable respect" that allows him to transform into a curmudgeon like Shane or a struggling, blue collar worker like Daniel. He also knows how that sounds: "My brothers would call me an actor douchebag for saying that, but… it prepared me for that. To take [acting] extremely seriously." To see my entire interview with Bernthal, check out the video below. Snitcharrives in theaters Friday, Feb. 22. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment] From Our Partners:Happy 25th, Rihanna: 25 Naked Pics to Celebrate (Vh1)’Warm Bodies’ Nicholas Hoult as Young Han Solo? (Moviefone)
  • 'Snitch' Rips from Headlines to Deliver The Rock's Best Performance Yet
    By: Matt Patches Feb 21, 2013
    Selling a 6'5", former wrestler dubbed "The Rock," as an "everyman" is no easy feat, yet writer/director Ric Roman Waugh's Snitch manages to organically knock Dwayne Johnson down a few notches. Johnson gracefully accepts the challenge, delivering his best performance to date as a dad grappling with a drug cartel in hopes of saving his son from imprisonment. The twist is that Johnson is anything but a superhero — he doesn't know how to work a gun, he can't drive a car at 300 mph, and he has no clue how to kick ass. What he does have is compassion for his family, and that's enough of a backbone to turn Snitchinto a better-than-average thriller. After being caught at the center of an ecstasy-dealing sting operation, Jason (Rafi Gavron) is hauled away by the DEA and faced with 10 years in prison. His father, John (Johnson) begs a local politician (Susan Sarandon) for leniency, but he finds no luck: the only way around the mandatory minimum sentence laws in the U.S. is to "snitch" for the government, helping the feds find and capture bigger drug dealers. Since Jason isn't actually connected to the drug world, John proposes the next best thing: he'llgo hunting. Waugh takes his time introducing us to the world of Snitch, carefully laying the tracks with research and character, so when the action picks up, it doesn't fly off the rails. Make no mistake: this is not a Faster sequel, a script giving Johnson the go-ahead to plow through faceless bad guys for two hours. There are stakes, and Waugh rips them from the headlines, the first third of Snitch feeling more like a newspaper exposé than an action movie. It all works to Johnson's favor, who settles in nicely in the imperfect suburban life and the dangerous underbelly he uncovers. With lots of whos, whats, and wheres to juggle, Snitchwinds up erring on the side of exposition too often, but it's all to add gravity to Johnson's insurmountable task. RELATED: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Fondly Remembers Playing A 'Part Scorpion, Part Man' Snitch kicks into gear when John enlists his employee Daniel (Jon Bernthal) to break him into the world of drug smuggling. John makes Daniel, an ex-convict looking to stay out of trouble for the sake of his family, a deal he can't refuse, and the two embark on a mission to put ring leader Malik (Michael Kenneth Williams) in the crosshairs of the cops. With natural camera work and a welcome lack of ham (no "GIVE ME BACK MY SON!"s), Johnson and Bernthal capably build tension by fostering quiet moments that explode in their faces. Daniel routinely has to explain to his wife that he's out of trouble — a straight-up lie that ends in meltdown. In a scene early in the film, John heads to the wrong side of the tracks to dig up information, resulting in a gang of kids beating him to the round and stealing his car. Johnson as a low status character is a real shock in Snitch. When The Rock falls, he falls hard. As teased in the trailer, Snitch does escalate, and the stuntman-turned-filmmaker Waugh competently stages his set pieces. It's a rarity: the shootouts and car chases in the movie feel like a backdrop for drama, not randomly placed moments of bombastic chaos. Snitch is high-octane in every department. The movie has rough edges — in an effort to complicate the situation, the movie steers away from the main plot to show a clash between Sarandon's morally-depraved politician and an undercover DEA agent (Barry Pepper, sporting a wild beard and another energetic performance). It's interesting, but not as captivating as Johnson's material, which builds momentum and remains gripping to the final moments. Snitch presents a terrifying scenario, worsened by the fact that it's really happened to guys a lot smaller than Dwayne Johnson. 3.5/5 What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! [Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment] From Our Partners:25 Most Scandalous Celeb Twitpics (Vh1)Miley & Liam’s Beach PDA: PICS (Celebuzz)
  • An Angry Wolverine, Hailee Steinfeld in 'Ender's Game,' and More — PICS ROUND-UP
    By: Matt Patches Feb 21, 2013
    Whether you're currently wrapped in eight layers, praying that you will survive the bitter cold of winter, or you live in a place where it never drops below 60 degrees (screw you!), summer is on the horizon. Helping to remind us of the light at the end of the tunnel are a set of new pics from 2013's biggest blockbuster releases. Nothing warms the soul like a superhero's scowl. First up is a new still from the little-comic-movie-that-could, The Wolverine. The Hugh Jackman-led action flick is both a prequel to the original X-Men trilogy, a sequel to his spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and a… well, who really knows how it fits into the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, which collides all the mythology — including X-Men: First Class — into one steaming serving of cinematic goulash. It's been a bumpy road for The Wolverine, which clawed its way through pre-production disaster after pre-production disaster to finally come to screens this year. And it looks good! Or, at least, an image like the one below has us pumped for more of Jackman's rough, gruff hero. RELATED: 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Director Bryan Singer Teases Professor Xs, Young And Old — Pic Next, we have a look at the upcoming Ender's Game, a sci-fi epic that has all the makings of a summer movie… but actually drops in November. Based on the acclaimed novel by Orson Scott Card, the movie stars Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as a wunderkind of intergalactic military strategy, sent to "Battle School" to train as a soldier. For fans of True Grit who wondered what happened to the young, Oscar-nominated star Hailee Steinfeld, she appears alongside Butterfield in Ender's Game, as you can see in the latest still from the film: RELATED: 'Iron Man 3' Trailer: Tony Stark Is Still Having 'Avengers' Nightmares Rounding out the bunch, Iron Man 3 continues its character poster binge with a new one-sheet of Guy Pearce as the suspected villain Aldrich Killian. While the folks at Marvel were ready to show off their trilogy-capper at Comic-Con earlier this year — with flashy footage of Robert Downey Jr. zipping around the sky and eventually hitting rock bottom as billionaire inventor Tony Stark — we're still in the dark on the plot of Iron Man 3. Ben Kingsley will appear as the popular villain Mandarin, but where does Pearce's Killian fit into the picture? Judging from this poster, he may play Miami Vicedetective James Crockett. Maybe. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox; Summit Entertainment; Marvel] From Our Partners:’Warm Bodies’ Nicholas Hoult as Young Han Solo? (Moviefone)Happy 25th, Rihanna: 25 Naked Pics to Celebrate (Vh1)
  • Michael Moore Condemns Airport Security After Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Is Detained
    By: Matt Patches Feb 20, 2013
    Michael Moore is always ready to pounce. Whether he's spending a few years tracking down subjects for a muckraking documentary or taking to the Internet to point fingers, Moore never fails to yank attention his way when he sees fit. Sure, it's crass and his tone is loud and unrestrained, but more often than not, his points are universal — regardless of what political side his audience falls on. Moore's latest eruption took place Tuesday night, when the filmmaker took to Twitter to point fingers at the Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. Customs officials, and America as a whole after Palestinian documentarian Emad Burnat was held at the airport after arriving for the 85th Academy Awards. Burnat, whose film 5 Broken Cameras received a nomination for "Best Documentary Feature," was detained by officers at LAX, along with his wife and son, for an hour and a half before Academy lawyers (prompted by Moore) intervened. RELATED: Oscars 2013: How to Watch All The Nominated Films According to a statement released by Burnat, airport security questioned him about the purpose of his visit to the States. They didn't believe he was actually attending the Oscars. "Immigration officials asked for proof that I was nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary 5 Broken Cameras," said Burnat. "And they told me that if I couldn’t prove the reason for my visit, my wife Soraya, my son Gibreel, and I would be sent back to Turkey on the same day." Adding to insult: Burnat is the first Palestinian to be nominated for an Academy Award — a fact that made the LAX officials' confusion sting even harder in Moore's eyes. Moore explains in a blog that he communicated with Burnat via text throughout the debacle, instructing the documentarian to hand his contact information over to Homeland Security so that he could explain the situation and avert the crisis. In his statement, Burnat makes it clear that deportation was a very real possibility, but that the experience left him unfazed: RELATED: Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: The Sundance 2013 Documentaries You Absolutely Must See "Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout he West Bank. There are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks, and other barriers to movement across our land, and not a single one of us has been spared the experience that my family and I experienced yesterday. Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day." To conclude his rant on Twitter, Moore made the simple, pointed quip: "Welcome to America." Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Getty Images; Wenn] From Our Partners: 'Groundhog Day' Cast: Where Are They Now? (Moviefone)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Hollywood.com's Oscar Movie Checklist — INFOGRAPHIC
    By: Matt Patches Feb 20, 2013
    "Oscar bait": an easy insult used to poke fun at a year's Academy Award hopefuls — and one that also kind of hits the nail on the head... the Oscar voting pool may have a particular set of preferences for the films they deem worthy of their prestigious awards. Just how common are "Oscar bait" tropes? Enough that we could cull from years past, cross-check our list with this year's nominees, and walk away with more hits than misses. Whether it's the industry players who fill their ballots with similar movies each year, or just a sign that Hollywood plays it safe with its award-friendly dramas, the 2012 movies eyeing gold have their roots firmly planted in what worked in Oscar history. RELATED: Oscars 2013: How to Watch All the Nominated Films To prove it, we've devised the Oscar Movie Checklist — the official guide to dissecting the Best Picture nominees (click for the big version!): The Oscar Speech Oscars: 20 Best (and Worst) Academy Award Speeches Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches [Photo Credit: Hollywood.com] From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz) Oscars 2013 Special Coverage 15 Most Iconic Red Carpet Dresses • We Predict the Winners: Do You Agree?• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes• The Worst Best Picture Winner Ever• Oscar's Problem With Pretty Boys• Why Stars Should Fear Seth MacFarlane• 10 TV Stars You Never Knew Won Oscars• The Winner, According to You