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.
  • Baz Luhrmann Wants 'Gatsby' Star Leonardo DiCaprio for 'Hamlet'
    By: Matt Patches May 10, 2013
    Whether it's the archetypical cowboy of Australia, legendary heartthrob in Romeo + Juliet, or his latest protagonist, the mysterious prince of Long Island, Jay Gatsby, director Baz Luhrmann loves a larger-than-life leading man. They fit perfectly into the heightened worlds he creates on screen, epic in every detail. It's made Leonardo DiCaprio the ideal collaborator for the Moulin Rouge director. The actor can swing from subtle to manic in the blink of an eye, and that's how Luhrmann loves to pace his films. Emotion is constantly boiling. This weekend sees the release of Luhrmann and DiCaprio's second team-up, the writer/director's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Despite the movie just now making its way to theaters, it seems that Luhrmann already has his sights set on another grand character for DiCaprio to inhabit. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Luhrmann revealed that he's hoping to cast DiCaprio in a new version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. "To me, Gatsby is the American Hamlet. What else could we possibly do as a follow-up?" Luhrmann tells THR. He admits that it's presently just wishful thinking, but tackling Shakespeare's most complicated male character would be a fitting third entry for the actor/director duo. Hamlet has been a staple of the theater, and in turn, the cinema since the early days of film. The classic 1948 version saw Laurence Olivier become the first person to direct himself to a Best Actor Oscar. Recent adaptations include Kenneth Branagh's breathtaking 242-minute 1996 adaptation, a 2000 modernized version starring Ethan Hawke, and Disney's The Lion King, which draws heavily from the play's story beats. On the TV side, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has noted the connections between his biker show and Hamlet, while a number of networks are currently in developments on their own Shakespearean series riffs. Is Luhrmann and DiCaprio's Hamlet to be or not to be? That is the question that may have an answer after this weekend, when Great Gatsby's box office totals arrive. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: What Is Leonardo DiCaprio's Best Role?Review: DiCaprio Steals the Show in 'Gatsby'Celebrity Style Straight Out of 'Gatsby' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • 17 Stunning Set Pics Snapped By Jeff Bridges Over the Past 30 Years
    By: Matt Patches May 09, 2013
    Over the past three decades, Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges has been pointing and shooting dazzling black-and-white photos, capturing moments from his many movies that never made it to the big screen. Bridges caught wide-angle glimpses of the sets for movies like True Grit, Big Lebowski, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Tron, and they've mesmerized his friends, family, coworkers, and professional photogs for years. Now, The International Center of Photography has recognized Bridges' work behind the camera at this year's 29th annual Infinity Awards, giving us a chance to see some of his work ourselves. Check out a full gallery of Jeff Bridges' revealing snapshots in the below gallery! Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: Bridges in 'RIPD:' The Next 'Men in Black?'Met Gala Red Carpet LookalikesLegendary Photographer Roger Deakins on Shooting 'Skyfall' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • What Is 'Great Gatsby' Star Leonardo DiCaprio's Best Movie?
    By: Matt Patches May 09, 2013
    Earlier this year, Leonardo DiCaprio told press during his tour for Django Unchained that after a busy 2013 — which includes this week's The Great Gatsby and this Martin Scorsese's Nov. 15 release The Wolf of Wall Street— he was looking forward to taking a break from the acting scene. Seems fair for an actor who has managed three Oscar nominations and a position at the top of the A-lister ladder at the ripe, young age of 38. Gatsby marks another incredible performance from DiCaprio, a subversion of his natural good looks that turned him into a heartthrob in his in early days (would Tiger Beat have survived the '90s without the Growing Pains star?). Unlike a Hollywood titan like Brad Pitt, whose preferences draw him to "character actor" parts that require a chameleon's touch, DiCaprio is the rare performer who can deliver natural drama without simply playing himself over and over again. His roles don't need big twists or exaggerations, just an added layer for DiCaprio to unearth over the course of the film. Hollywood honored DiCaprio when he was only 20 years old, for his work as the mentally challenged Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. He's fully immersed, but the part has the most to hide behind. He's more vibrant when a role demands nuance. Think 1996's Romeo + Juliet, DiCaprio's previous collaboration with Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann, his downward spiraling character in Danny Boyle's The Beach, a cop holding back secrets in Scorsese's The Departed or a slowly unraveling suburbanite in Revolutionary Road. He's even found a way to challenge himself amidst blockbuster-sized action: wavering confidence is at the heart of DiCaprio's work in Christopher Nolan's Inception and if you write off Titanic as pure Hollywood schmaltz, you're too busy rolling your eyes when you should be taking in the glow of its leading man. That's not to say DiCaprio is incapable of the extravagant. Gatsby sees the actor dabble with moments of physical comedy; the period settings of The Man in the Iron Mask and Gangs of New York open the door for broader characters; and his Oscar-nominated work as the eccentric Howard Hughes in The Aviator and the diabolical slave owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained see DiCaprio erupt out of his shell. For me, the all-encompassing DiCaprio role is that of Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can. Growing up with the con-artist over the course of Steven Spielberg's zippy drama is like witnessing every milestone in DiCaprio's career. He starts young and naive, makes a discovery that challenges him to develop characters and improvise on his toes, then unravels to become a madman. When Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) finds Abagnale towards the end of the film, DiCaprio sports straggly hair and oppressive paranoia. It's a dark side that DiCaprio rarely shows, but we know he's capable of. What is Leonardo DiCaprio's best movie? Now you can decide by voting in our poll and sound off with your thoughts in the comments. <a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7092580/">What Is Leonardo DiCaprio</a> Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: DiCaprio & Maguire's 'Great Gatsby' FriendshipHollywood's Male Double StandardSorry Leo, You Can't Win the 'Gatsby' Video Game From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • 'The Great Gatsby' Review: Leonardo DiCaprio Outshines the Glitz and Glamour
    By: Matt Patches May 08, 2013
    Gatsby may have believed in the green light, but in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, every color in the spectrum is strewn across the screen to an orgastic degree. Like Project X for the gimlet-sipping crowd, Luhrmann takes F. Scott Fitzgerald's source material, douses it in modern music courtesy of soundtrack mastermind Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, and shoots the melodrama with sweeping movements normally reserved for Lord of the Rings. Weary narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) describes Gatsby's weekly festivities as a "kaleidoscopic carnival." Quite apt: Luhrmann's 3D spectacle goes from mesmerizing to dizzying in under 30 minutes. Like Carraway, The Great Gatsby is eventually awoken to the "real" man behind the lavish production numbers. The movie changes course for the better when the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio enters the picture. Like the plebs he greets, DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby takes the movie's breath away, forcing Luhrmann to put aside his song and dance infatuation for dazzling performances in the heightened world he's created. Luhrmann's script sticks closely to the required high school reading we all know and love: After settling into a modest West Egg, Long Island cottage for the summer, Carraway is courted by Gatsby for friendship. With the help of the reclusive gazillionaire, Carrway experiences life in the fast line. But Gatsby has ulterior motives. Five years prior, he fell desperately in love with Carraway's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan). Now he needs Carraway to pull her out of East Egg long enough for Gatsby to convince her to leave her cheating, polo-playing husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Mesmerized by charm, Carraway reluctantly abides. Maguire does a stand up job playing witness to Gatsby's upper crust destruction, but it's DiCaprio's show to steal. The actor finds new sides to his on-screen persona that outshine the glitz and glamour; in his first encounter with Daisy, Gatsby bumbles around Carraway's living room, hyperventilating and trembling in fear like a teenager on his first date. It's DiCaprio embracing physical comedy and low status — in complete contrast to what he does as the "Great Gatsby" who commands over parties and works shady business deals in the backrooms of New York City. Like the sporadic beauty of jazz, DiCaprio mixes Gatsby's moods into one enchanting character. The supporting cast feels more like they're role playing in the Roaring '20s then digging into their literary counterparts — impaired partially by Luhrmann's insistence on voiceover and flashy execution — but there are standouts. Without material doing her an favors, Mulligan turns Daisy into a vicious romantic, her fragility exposed when Edgerton's Tom reacts violently to Gatsby intrusion. The Aussie actor finds plenty of moments to chew up with his boisterous, period-appropriate delivery. The mustache doesn't hurt the smarminess. In a small role, heralded Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan appears to push Gatsby's buttons and turn the film on its head. He makes more of an impression than two normally strong performers, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke, who have little to do as Tom's mistress and her gas station-owning husband. Luhrmann doesn't put style over substance, though Great Gatsby is off-balance. The first half nearly collapses under the weight of production value and DiCaprio's bravado isn't quite enough to carry the film to greatness. The stylized backdrop, New York by way of Life of Pi, fit the larger than life story. If it were precisely used rather than slathered over the screenplay, Luhrmann would have a year's best on his hands. Instead, The Great Gatsby straddles the line of disaster, manic in the vein of its protagonist's delusional escapades. 2.5/5 What do you think? Tell Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and read more of his reviews on Rotten Tomatoes! More: DiCaprio & Maguire: 'Great Gatsby' BFFsFlorence + The Machine's New 'Gatsby' Track Is Moody, SexyBeyonce Steals the Scene in New 'Great Gatsby' Trailer
  • Director Uwe Boll Surprised Mass Shooters Aren't Pointing Guns at Wall Street
    By: Matt Patches May 08, 2013
    Director Uwe Boll has struggled to find audiences for his controversial films. He started his career with critically-panned video game movies like House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and Bloodrayne before shifting his crosshairs to topical subject matters. In 2009, he adapted his bloody genre aesthetic for a film about the genocide in Darfur. In 2011, he did the same for the horrors of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. This week, Boll releases his next pointed piece of cinema: Assault on Wall Street. Dominic Purcell stars as Jim, a blue collar New Yorker who loses everything in the 2008 financial crisis. As Wall Street bankers shred every bit of evidence of their wrongdoings, Jim watches as his life is destroyed. Witnessing his wife lose a battle with cancer pushes him over the edge, and Jim decides to pick up a few guns and deliver bloody payback aimed at the suits that wronged him. Striking controversy is Boll's objective. The German director wants Assault on Wall Street to wake up audiences to the fact that they're being swindled by the political system and provoke them to take action. But he knows he's fighting a losing battle against his past. Will anyone take him seriously in a world where Argo (what he calls "an advertising [movie] for the C.I.A.") wins top prizes at the Oscars? We sat down with Boll to hear him out. Read on for a boatload of contentious opinions on Wall Street, gun control, Hollywood, and his filmmaking career: Hollywood.com: Many of your films have relied on over-the-top action but Assault on Wall Street strikes me as a calmer film. Uwe Boll: I wrote it and I really wanted to show the deconstruction of a human being in the financial crisis fallout. I had the feeling if I make this more like Rampage, I lose all possibilities that people take it really seriously. That stuff like this can really happen. So I decided to go into the details and try and tell a love story. Unusual for my movies. Did the financial situation in America rile you up on a personal level? Boll: Look, everything that happened in the bailout… they lifted off everything we ever learned about economy. Especially the people who always talk about free trade. 'No socialism.' Then they pump all the tax payers money in savings and investment banks. The consequences of the bailouts were written on the wall from all financial experts. They said, 'You have to regulate the baking systems.' If you have $5000 in your checking account, it can not be that they are on the hook if the investment side of the bank is gambling and losing money. It can not be! So they have to divide it up. The normal, classical banking — mortgages, normal loans, deposits — can not be infected by the casino, basically. It didn't happen. It's still the same like it was before. They make the profits still because the stock market exploded from cheap money from the feds. They get the money for free! This is the thing that is crazy. All experts say we're in another balloon. But next time, there will be no bailout. You can't say, 'We print another $5 trillion,' then we file for bankruptcy five minutes after the bailout because no one can pay that back. It's so obvious they had to do self-regulations and they didn't. Do you feel that Hollywood has properly taken the government to task over the bailouts? Is Assault on Wall Street your response to that? It exudes anger. Boll: Exactly. Too Big to Fail, Margin Call — I like those movies, but the brokers and the politics are in the middle. There's no normal guy who makes $50,000 a year in those movies. Wall Street 2 was a complete failure because it doesn't show the age of greed on Wall Street. It just shows Josh Brolin (who played [George W.] Bush in another [Oliver] Stone movie [laughs]), being one bad guy saving it all with his stupidity. I love Wall Street but the second was a good looking insult. So I wanted to make a movie where a guy holds people accountable because no one else is doing it. Was extreme violence an essential part of getting that message across? Boll: When I cast the movie, many agents said, 'Oh, my actor can not play that. He's just shooting too many people. He can only shoot one or two.' And I said, 'No, it has to be the system.' Like in the beginning, when the guy says 'dump the certificates' and the whole broker room start dumping. They know they've damaged the clients and they don't go to the feds and they're happy and they know they've destroyed peoples' lives. I think this is important that he goes against everybody. If people who watch the movie are feeling uncomfortable in their seats, on Wall Street, I've reached my goal. 'Oh, maybe I should have bodyguards.' That's a bold wish. Boll: It's absurd. We have so many people running amok for absolutely no reason, like the Batman screening. Then you have absolutely 100,000 reasons to go after the bankers and nobody did it so far. It's obvious. Movies are often accused of promoting violence as a solution to life's problems. Though that's Assault on Wall Street's goal. Did you consider those acts of gun violence when making this film? Boll: I think movies are there for this. To be a catalyst. To show what you want to do but can't do for real. My idea with guns is don't sell it to people under 30. I'm not pro-someone randomly gets a gun. I know how hard it is to change things in America. But it would omit 17-year-old psychopaths from running amok. In Canada, where I live, there are guns everywhere and no one runs amok. It's not a movie about gun control. This guy is able to get a gun and he goes for it. I feel like you attempted to stick it to the man before with Darfur. Was that a success? Boll: I think Darfur is an excellent movie. I think it's so brutal that most of the people can't watch it. It's like, 'Oh f**k, I have to switch it off.' Children being impaled, mass rapes, everything. I did it on purpose because that's exactly what happens in Darfur. I thought, OK if we don't stop the genocide but we have money to go to Iraq… here we have facts. I show what's out there. Children being hacked to pieces. 'Oh let's wait another year.' NATO or whatever. The blue helmets or whatever. I showed it to the German army in a big multiplex in Germany. They got vert emotional about it. Then a big, four star general in Germany said in front of the crowd, 'If something like this happens, it doesn't matter what the order is. Because we're first human beings and have to stop it.' They were surprised he said that. We talked to blue helmets that were there that were not fighting. Why didn't you help? 'We were observing mission.' How absurd. Why wasn't the movie taken seriously? Does it have to do with the route in which it arrives to America? Do you need the respect of Cannes or Sundance to back it? Boll: I'm with you. The problem is that if something was said by George Clooney… he's everywhere. I say something, nobody cares. Especially with Wall Street. It's the most important subject matter on Earth. There's no bigger subject matter than the bailout crisis. Why will it get on one screen? Why is it not a movie that gets a 250 print release with some real money behind it? I imagine it's because you're also the guy who made Postal. Boll: My past haunts me. They don't take it seriously. The guy who made House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark can't be serious as a filmmaker. It's disappointing, but all I can do is keep trying to make movies that matter. At least on DVD or VOD people say, 'Oh wow.' A guy came up to me at the American Film Market and said, 'I'm the Showtime President and I want to tell you that Darfur is the best movie I've ever seen on our channel.' I said, 'Yeah, and you only $40,000!' They know they can lowball you. A lot of things getting a lot of attention… look at Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. These are advertising movies for the C.I.A.. They're good films because they have good actors and they make them properly, but what is the f**king subject matter of Argo? It's a minor case. Who cares about eight people? But would you be open to making a studio movie like that if given the opportunity? Boll: That's the thing. I could never do the super patriotic point-of-view. Olympus Has Fallen or White House Down. I could do a big action movie, but it would be a little more balanced. I can not make myself do something where I'm political, where I think, 'This is so wrong. S**t.' The Wall Street 2… I can't do that. Do video game and genre movies scratch that itch? Hollywood is kind of moving in on your territory now. Boll: I just got calls that a studio has bought the rights to Far Cry. I lost the rights and they want to do a big, big Far Cry movie. Spent like $5 million on the game rights. I spent $150,000. I bought the rights early when they were developing it and bet on the game being a success. It is what it is. I don't have a problem making a genre movie like Far Cry or Bloodrayne because I don't feel I sell out with it. Your genre films are also R-rated, which I'm guessing isn't the direction a studio wants to go with most properties. Boll: What they're doing is all PG-13. Paramount watched Assault on Wall Street and I got an e-mail, 'We love it! This is so good! He kills everybody! But we can never acquire it' [laughs]. There was a point where studios acquired the movies they actually like. People go on the wrong track and constantly release movies that are half-cooked. I watched Jack Reacher on the airplane and it's an OK movie, but I don't even know why that guy shot people in the beginning of the movie. I have no f**king clue why they shot that guy. The whole case doesn't make sense. A lot of the movies coming out are good filmmaking, but without substance. What's the next genre movie you're making? Boll: Last December, I shot Suddenly, the remake of the Frank Sinatra movie with Ray Liotta and Dominic Purcell. It's a thriller and plays on one day. I hired an Obama double who almost (or maybe) gets shot in the end. I wanted to do that. Why the hell would you want to do that? Boll: Everyone said, 'Don't do it!' But I wanted to do it. I wanted an Obama double. And I was preparing to shoot a movie in India. A thriller about organ trade — but I have huge problems in India. I have tons of Indian guys who want to produce with me and I tell them I want to shoot that movie and they're like, 'Oh f**k!' Because it's real. They want me to come to India and shoot dancing. I could see you doing a Bollywood movie. Boll: Where everyone gets shredded in the end. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: Inside the White House Correspondents DinnerOccupy Sundance: '99%' and 'The East' Fight BackWhy Video Games Have Failed From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Google Doodle Celebrates Saul Bass, the Artist Behind Hitchcock, Kubrick's Legendary Graphics
    By: Matt Patches May 08, 2013
    Unlike Alfred Hitchcock, whose media presence and routine cameos made him a recognizable face on top of his legendary Hollywood status, title sequence designer and graphic artist Saul Bass is relatively unknown to most moviegoers. But he's the foundation for many of Hitchcock's work. His use of jagged edges, psychedelic imagery, and percussive editing set the tone for a Hitchcock thriller — and over his 40+ year career, a handful of other classics. Today, Google pays tribute to Bass on what would have been his 93rd birthday (he was born on May 8, 1920 and passed away on April 25, 1996). In the fashion of some of his greatest graphic achievements, including Vertigo, North by Northwest, Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, Robert Wise's West Side Story, John Frankenheimer's Seconds, and Michael Anderson's Around the World in 80 Days, Google has whipped up its own stylish title sequence: In 1962, Bass explained his approach to designing a title sequence to film critic Pauline Kael. “I try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story.” Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: 8 Amazing Pop Culture Google DoodlesHow They Made the 'Skyfall' Credit Sequence5 of Ray Harryhausen's Greatest Monster Creations From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • 'Ender's Game' Star Asa Butterfield Reveals His Painful Space Camp Regiment
    By: Matt Patches May 07, 2013
    Asa Butterfield had a few stunts for his breakout role in Martin Scorsese's Hugo. Running through the Paris Gare Montparnasse railway station, climbing up ladders to reach clocks in need of winding, falling on the train tracks only to be pulled off last minute — tough stuff for a 12-year-old. But still, Hugo hardly prepared him for his follow-up film: the epic sci-fi blockbuster, Ender's Game. Butterfield tells Hollywood.com that the first portion of rehearsals on the film was all training for the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel. In the book, Ender is sent to "Battle School," a facility that turns skilled children into the next great military leaders. To prepare for the intensity of the fictional training camp, writer/director Gavin Hood sent his young cast to Space Camp — the summer escape of dreams (seriously, what kid didn't want to spend a week away from home hooked up to a gyroscope?). But for the Ender's Game star, it was a bit of a nightmare. "It was painful," he says. "There was all sorts of marching, running. 'Left face, right face' where you turn in different directions." Butterfield admits that the rigorous boot camp helped him form a close bond with his fellow teenage costars — mostly because if they didn't keep up with one another, they all suffered. "If one person in the group of about 100 extras, and 10 or so cast [members], made a mistake, everyone had to do 10 push-ups. And we'd be jogging and if one person fell behind, we'd have to do 10 push-ups. Then [the trainers would] extend it… because they're a bit mean [laughs]." Along with the exercise regiment, actual NASA astronauts taught Butterfield how to realistically maneuver in zero gravity. The tricks came in handy while performing on the enormous rig built for Ender's Game's fast-paced, weightless action scenes. "People think when you're moving in Zero-G it's like moving in jelly. But it's not. You're completely free to move however fast as you want. The reason people move slowly is that when, for example, they're putting something down, if they put it down quick it'll just float off. There's nothing stopping it. You have to move your hand, You have to let go of it really slowly. Then it just floats there. That's why people move slowly not to mess everything up," says Butterfield. With a scientific understanding of Zero-G movement, Butterfield set off to replicate the training on set. It was uncomfortable. "We were just in a harness," he says. "It was completely up to us move our bodies in that motion — which is why it was so difficult. So to do that, you have to have your whole body completely tensed up so you're not completely flopped over and suspended by the waist. Meanwhile, you have to move smoothly. Meanwhile, you have to say your lines in an American accent!" Along with being Butterfield's most physically demanding role to date, Ender's Game is also his mostly morally complex. The book is observational, introspective, and sporadically action-oriented. Before he was even cast, Butterfield had four lengthy Skype chats with Hood on how exactly they would get inside the lead characters head. "One of the main ones Gavin and I talked about was leadership," Butterfield says. "Ender's way of leading and communicating with other people — not just children, but adults — is completely different. It's one of the things that makes him shine in the school." The actor sees Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, as ends of a scale that the character drifts between over the course of the film. "One's completely selfless and open, Peter is the epitome of the worst human being. Ender knows he doesn't want to be Peter, but at times he can't help having his dark side shine through." Butterfield lauds Hood for having a deep love for the source material. The director's passion helped him craft a cinematic narrative out of the story, changes made only when necessary. "He knew exactly what would be different in terms of things you could physically do when bringing something to screen," he says. "And also, to make things more probable. So it's almost completely true to the original book, except for things like the age of the characters and the time in which the story happened." To bring Ender to life, Butterfield also went back to the book — but stuck mostly to the first of Card's many Ender's novels. "All of the other books in the series… none of them are particularly like Ender's Game. Speaker [for the Dead] I started reading, but it's so different. It was a real shock to me how far it varied from the original book. So I didn't end up finishing that. It was too difficult for me to read," he says. While most of his training will disappear into the bigger picture of Ender's, know that the exertion you see on Butterfield's face as he fights his way through Battle School is coming from a real place. Take one scene where Ender is ordered to do 20 push-ups. Easy, no? Not in the world of movie magic. Thanks to shooting 10 camera angles, Butterfield ended up cranking out 200 push-ups by the end of the scene. That's one way to stir up genuine emotion. Ender's Game arrives Nov. 1, 2013 Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: Watch the First Trailer for 'Ender's Game'Harrison Ford Looks a Bit Bored Talking 'Ender's'Will Orson Scott Card's Politics Affect 'Ender's Game' Success? From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • 'Ender's Game' Trailer Promises Some Serious Post-Summer Sci-Fi Spectacle
    By: Matt Patches May 07, 2013
    After a timid introduction to the world of Ender Wiggin and Earth's battle against invading alien forces, Ender's Game stars Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley step it up a notch in the first full trailer for the highly anticipated Orson Scott Card adaptation. If you thought summer was the season of blockbusters, prepare thyself for Nov. 1. This early look at Ender's Game focuses expectedly on the book's main setting: a futuristic military training facility known as "Battle School." That's where young Ender (Butterfield) is instilled with the skills to effectively wipe out an extraterrestrial race known as "the Formics." We get a glimpse of their opposing forces, enormous ships spewing flocks of bug-like attackers that rip human planes in two. Luckily, Battle School has Ender, this alternative universe's version of a Halo video game hopped up on gallons of Mountain Dew. We also get a glimpse of Battle School's zero-gravity tactical simulation. In the hands of writer/director Gavin Hood, it all looks a bit like Tron: Legacy. But in the ultra-sleek future, that might be a good thing. The important thing is that the footage moves like hell — as a great action movie should. What do you make of Ender's Game? Fans, does it satisfy your imagination? And for you newcomers, does it make a lick of sense? More: Harrison Ford Looks a Bit Bored Talking 'Ender's'Will Orson Scott Card's Politics Affect 'Ender's Game' Success?Hailee Steinfeld Is Pissed in 'Ender's Game' — PIC From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • NY1 Anchor Pat Kiernan on the Challenge of Playing Pat Kiernan in 'Iron Man 3'
    By: Matt Patches May 07, 2013
    Every town has its star news anchor. For New York City, it's Pat Kiernan. After climbing the ranks in the broadcast news world, Kiernan landed at New York's NY1 where he turned morning news into must-see television. His presence and popularity saw him plucked from his tri-state area role for national ventures, including VH1's cult favorite trivia show The World Series of Pop Culture. Hollywood has taken notice of the Kiernan charm: when a blockbuster movie needs a convincing talking head to deliver shocking/absurd/warm and cuddly news, they turn to the NYC staple. With both The Avengers and this past weekend's Iron Man 3 under his belt, Kiernan is basically a superhero in his own right. "I made a decision years ago that I'm not interested in chasing generic 'Reporter #2' roles," Kiernan says of his acting career. "I'll play Pat Kiernan as himself if that fits into your movie. If your movie is set elsewhere and you're looking for a reporter, you'll have to find somebody else. It eliminates the need for auditions. The audition is on TV every morning." When a movie like Iron Man 3 wants Kiernan to film a news segment, the production is first vetted through the NY1 team. Is it a movie that New York 1 would have any embarrassment from being involved in? Is the NY1 character behaving in a way that he might if the circumstances were real? When the channel gives approval to the production's request, the notes are passed on to Kiernan, who takes on the role of script doctor before reciting his lines on screen. "Generally they write a script and typically I rewrite it," Kiernan says. "Unless I find what they wrote to be implausibly bad, I'll typically read theirs and give them an alternate version. If you agree with my version after seeing it, please use that one in the movie. If you don't, I'll consent to the version you wrote. We'll give an alternative version I've tinkered with. How I would say it in my voice. How NY1 would say it." The case of Iron Man 3 was pretty straightforward: receive the script, make a few minor changes, record the segment with the regular NY1 crew, then send off the tape to the folks at Marvel. There have been times that required more from Kiernan. "The late Sydney Pollack and I sat down for 20 minutes and hashed out my lines for The Interpreter," he says. "He came in with a yellow lined pad with lines scribbled on it and said, 'These are the lines I need to get across.' And the two of us sat down and worked through the script. 'Here's how I would say that.' It was an amusing moment because he and I were sitting on his couch and his staff was kind of lurking. Afterward, when he left, they said, 'Usually what happens around here is when Mr. Pollock says, 'Here's how I want to do it,' everyone says, 'Yes, Mr. Pollock.' Not, 'Here's what I suggest.' He obviously respects your opinion.' They were a little taken aback when I suggested we rewrite the script." Kiernan isn't a trained actor, but he does believe reading the news for a movie requires "acting." Whether he's telling the folks of New York that authorities have discovered dinosaur tracks on Central Park West for Night at the Museum or announcing that the world is coming to an end for 4:44 Last Day on Earth, the quick bursts of news footage we see in bombastic action movies require a delicate touch. "You kind of have to pull whatever acting skills you have to put yourself in the moment. Trying to have the right combination of intensity and energy and sorrow and excitement and whatever else you need." Kiernan relies on the same Strasbergian acting techniques when it comes to the actual news. "What I do every day is a performance. It's not impossible for me to get to the space that I need to get to for these movies." Kiernan's career outside of NY1 shows no sign of slowing down. On the movie side, he'll next be seen in the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop in a two-way interview scene that involved working with director Jaume Collet-Serra. And while World Series of Pop Culture won't be returning anytime soon (Kiernan says VH1's wave of reality television drowned the popular trivia show back in the day and there are no plans to resurrect it) he does have a new game show primed and ready for consumption. On May 14, Kiernan will headline CNBC's Crowd Rules, which features three small businesses competing in front of an audience of 100 that votes to decide who wins a much-needed $50,000 prize. Kiernan is the resident interrogator — a challenging performance he's ready to tackle. As long as they'll have him, Kiernan is up to the task of lending his news skills to comic book movies, game shows, and everything in between. After years of sending in tapes of fake segments, he's never had one sent back. "I think NY1 is an identifiable New York City brand. So when we're willing to play ball with productions, they see that as adding authenticity to the film. We've got a pretty good track record of convincingly doing whatever they ask for." Kiernan can currently be seen on the big screen in Iron Man 3. His show Crowd Rules premieres May 14 at 9pm and you can see him deliver real news each morning on NY1. Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: Kingsley Dishes on The Mandarin's Big TwistThe Blink-and-Miss'em Cameos of 'Iron Man 3'Guy Pearce Turned Down 'Daredevil' But Embraced 'Iron Man 3' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)
  • Ben Kingsley Talks The Mandarin's Twist and 'Iron Man 3' Spoilers
    By: Matt Patches May 06, 2013
    This article contains spoilers for Iron Man 3. Ben Kingsley is a man of the theater and, in turn, a man of the written word. He tells Hollywood.com that every movie he's ever done has been because of the script. That includes this weekend's Iron Man 3, written and directed by Hollywood legend, Shane Black. "The dialogue all the way through, the arc, is all on the page," Kingsley says. "I get everything from the page. Drew Pearce collaborated with Shane and brought that English dry humor to the writing. Honestly, because I spent so many years in the theater, 15 years, I grew to love the written word. I grew to love what's on the page." When it came to playing Marvel's ultimate terrorist, The Mandarin, Kingsley found every bit of personality, every nuanced gesture, every haunting word in writer/director Black's script. Black knows a thing or two about writing action movies: he's the scribe behind Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero, and the hyper-stylized Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. So Kingsley felt no need — and Black and Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige gave him no pressure — to immerse himself in 50 years of comic book lore. "They sent me a lovely box of illustrations and graphics. But their approach was so original and contemporary, that that was a wonderful jumping off point. The iconography is very different now. It's very impactful," Kingsley says. The Mandarins is a rare achievement in blockbuster cinema, a layered character that is slowly deconstructed over the course of the film. The top layer is the amplified amalgamation of every terrorist ringleader world audiences have ever seen. Below that is a bumbling idiot: the fame-hungry, actor-wannabe Trevor. Kingsley was particularly taken by Black's interpretation of The Mandarin's diabolical side. Although the persona is instantly recognizable, the actor keenly notes that rarely do we see terrorist types make bombastic threats. "The writing was beautiful to study and bring to life because there never is a mad rant," he says. "There always is a steady, measured… it's like torture. The drip. Chinese water torture." For a good chunk of the film, The Mandarin is presented through scratchy, lo-fi aesthetic often associated with terrorist broadcasts. He hits on every front: TV takeover broadcasts, YouTube videos, and even graphic propaganda spread across the country. They all depicted Kingsley's over-the-top look, echoed by a voice he describes as "Presidential." For Kingsley, it was all about embodying The Mandarin's righteousness. "He has to convey to the TV audience the absolute belief in his vision of destiny, the future, culture, civilization, where it should go," says the actor. "He has quite a grip on Western culture, history, iconography, and with almost a homegrown, patriarchal. He's able to manipulate his knowledge. Turn it on its head. Vilify it. Mock it. Destroy it in front of the eyes of his TV audience during those horrendous political broadcasts that interrupt the airwaves." When the first trailers for Iron Man 3 arrived, Kingsley's unrecognizable accent for The Mandarin was one of the biggest talking points. He explains that was all born a piece of Black's dialogue. At one point, Tony Stark describes The Mandarin as sounding like "a preacher." "From the script also, The Mandarin refers to his lessons and refers to himself as a teacher. If you're a teacher delivering lessons to the audience, it narrows down the target for the voice. It has to have the authority, the patriarchal tone to it. Almost patronizing and deliberate," Kingsley says. To interpret Black's language, Kingsley turned to documentary footage. "I can watch speeches made in the 1930s and that sense of righteousness and destiny is there in the speech," he says like a kid in a candy store. "They're beautifully written, if that's not too bizarre a phrase to use. They're written to impact the audience with repetitive speech, certain rhythms, certain cadences, staying inside a word and elongating it." Watching how influential figures operate while on stage, Kingsley says he "was able to graft them on to what The Mandarin is up to in front of the camera." Then came the other side of Mandarin's duel personalities. Kingsley is no stranger to comedy, having gone toe-to-toe with Sacha Baron Cohen's General Aladeen in 2012's The Dictator. In Iron Man 3, he creates his feeblest character yet, a struggling thespian who can kick back a PBR regardless of the hour. Kingsley says Trevor, much like "The Mandarin," is another tapestry of memories collected by the actor over his 40-year career in show business. "It's like building a mosaic," Kingsley says. "You take little pieces of your experiences, your memory, and your past. Your acquaintances and those with whom you have worked. Maybe there are 4,000 pieces to that mosaic. I couldn't count them. There are a lot of pieces that go into my work and it's never a copy of one person." But really, he must have met at least one real-life Trevor in his time as an actor. Right? "Hundreds of them!" Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches More: 'Iron Man 3' Spoilers: About That After-Credits Scene…Marvel Needs a Female SuperheroThe Blink-and-Miss'em Cameos of 'Iron Man 3' From Our Partners:What Happened to 33 Child Stars (Celebuzz)40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)