Sadly, it has been 20 years since Robert De Niro was last nominated for an Oscar (1991 for Cape Fear), and lately it’s becoming more and more obvious that the days of De Niro being De Niro are over. If you take a look at Robert De Niro’s filmography on Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll see a lot of films over the last ten years that have received a “rotten” rating. By the late 1990s into the 2000s it looked like De Niro was leaning towards becoming a staple in the world of comedy with the Meet The Parents trilogy and the Analyze This-Analyze That series. Lately however, with films like Limitless, Stone, Righteous Kill, and others, his drama acting seems so forced and unnatural. Say what you want about his age, but other actors like Robert Duvall and Morgan Freeman have received countless accolades over the last few years and they’re older than De Niro. In no way am I insulting his career in general, if you read some of my other blogs you’ll see I label him as one of the 4 greatest actors ever, but it’s safe to say that his strive for Oscar gold is dead. So, next time you find yourself watching a De Niro film, raise your glass and toast to a career that fizzled and faded into the sunset.
Category Archives: Movies
I think we can all be honest that Johnny Depp has been dropping the ball the last few years, both with his overall performances and his choice of movies. Since Sweeney Todd in 2007 the only piece of work worthy of discussing is “Rango” and that was an animated feature. All in all, Johnny Depp is a 3 time Academy Award nominee who needs a rejuvenating film and I think he’s found it. The new trailer for his upcoming film “The Rum Diary” has been released and it looks fantastic. The irony of this film is that it is based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson who Depp portrayed brilliantly in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” So check out the trailer below and let me know what you think!
It’s about that time of year where almost every movie that comes out is hoping for some Oscar buzz, and it’s also the time of year where I get way to invested in a few actors who I think deserve the recognition. More often then not, my hopes and prayers for these guys falls short and when the Oscar nominations are presented, I throw a fit and cry. Last year I put all my chips on Sam Rockwell in “Conviction” and Andrew Garfield in “The Social Network”. Both actors got shafted, which was disheartening, but this year I decided to watch a few actors that have very little chance to get a nomination but if they did, I look like a genius.
Gerard Butler in “Machine Gun Preacher”
I can’t believe he’s not doing another romantic comedy either!! This is a passion project Butler has been wanting to do for quite some time. He’s also producing the film, and if the first trailer is any indication, I think he has finally brought his A-game. In this true story, Butler is playing Sam Childres, a drug dealing, motorcycle driving outlaw who has a sudden transformation and uses this new way of life to help children in the Sudan. Butler has been around for awhile and has lately been dropping the ball (The Bounty Hunter, The Ugly Truth, Law Abiding Citizen) and he is way overdue for a critically acclaimed performance. I’m sure he will find it in this film but the nominations could be difficult to come by so we’ll see.
Dominic Cooper in “The Devil’s Double”
Yes he’s the guy from Mama Mia, and it’s even sadder that I know that. Anyway, Dominic Cooper is a relative unknown to most moviegoers, and that is why this performance stands out as much as it does. In another true story, Cooper portrays Latif Yahia who was forced into being the body double for Saddam Hussein’s oldest son Uday Hussein(also played by Cooper). I was fortunate enough to see this film recently, not an easy task, and Cooper was perfect. Quickly I forgot that Latif and Uday were played by the same person, he created two distinctly different characters with one face. The moments to look for are when Uday’s demeanor changes from giddy to sadistic, bone chilling.
Andy Serkis in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Longest title ever. Anyway, Andy Serkis has been a pop culture reference ever since he gave us Gollum in Lord of the Rings but in this film he portrays the ape Caesar. This pick has already been debated by critics since the film came out earlier this month, and Serkis deserves praise but does the technology used to help him portray a monkey deserve more credit. I call this the “Avatar Effect”, Zoe Saldana deserved an Oscar nomination for Avatar but because this was the first film to use the motion capture technology, she was over looked. Serkis’ performance alone deserves an Oscar but I’m not sure that the Academy is ready to embrace the actors who use the technology.
Clearly I’m obsessed with the Academy Awards, and lately I’ve been thinking about the younger generation of actors (30 and younger) who have the best chance to one day take home some hardware. In recent years, we’ve seen young actors secure nominations but the academy has been real adamant about not awarding Oscars to first time nominees especially those younger than 25. In the last few years, Jesse Eisenberg, Carey Mulligan, Anna Kendrick, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jennifer Lawrence have all added nominations to their resumes while being under the age of 30. I want to go beyond the 20s and look towards the generation of actors who are still in their teens that have the potential to one day own a gold statue.
Chloë Grace Moretz
Her big breakthrough came in the comic book comedy “Kick-Ass”. Playing the foul mouthed Hit-Girl, Moretz dominated each scene she was in, throwing off many movie-goers with the constant barrage of curses. She has since starred in the vampire thriller “Let Me In” and can be seen later this year in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo”.
Future roles could be compared to: Natalie Portman
Yes Dakota Fanning’s little sister can out act her any day! Elle Fanning has been acting since she was about 3 years old, playing a younger version of her sister Dakota in the film “I am Sam”. It wasn’t until 2010 when her breakout performance in the Sofia Coppala film “Somewhere” earned her some Oscar Buzz. Following her outstanding work in “Super 8”, Fanning has proven that she has the skills to take her a long way in Hollywood.
Future roles could be compared to: Scarlett Johansson
This one was a no-brainer. Hailee Steinfeld has already earned a nomination in the supporting actress category last year for “True Grit”. She was perfect in her role as Mattie Ross and I’m sure she will continue to get work that will allow her to shine.
Future roles could be compared to: Rebecca Hall
Super 8 was dominated by younger actors but it was Joel Courtney in the lead that made this film what it was. Joel shined playing the son of a recently deceased mother, and who’s father was less than comforting. At such a young age Joel has already mastered the ability to steal a scene without saying a single word.
Future roles could be compared to: Andrew Garfield
Clearly I’m on a Super 8 high. With so much emotion and high tension rising in Super 8, it was Riley Griffiths who provided the much needed comic touch. The great parts of Riley’s performance was that it seemed like he wasn’t trying too hard to make the audience laugh, and he’ll absolutely give us a future performance worthy of a supporting actor nod.
Future roles could be compared to: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
This was another no-brainer. Josh Hutcherson has been acting since he was about 10 years old. He’s been seen in films like “RV” with Robin Williams, “Journey To The Center of The Earth” with Brendan Fraser, but it wasn’t until 2010 when he played the role of Lazer in the Academy Award nominated film “The Kids Are All Right.” Hutcherson will continue to grow into more dramatic roles and he will quickly receive more and more praise.
Future roles could be compared to: Christian Bale
I went to my first midnight showing ever a week ago, shocking I know, to see Thor, and I was blown away. I’ll make this clear, what you expect from Thor is all you’re going to get but Kenneth Brannagh did an amazing job with an all star cast to bring a new vibe to a comic book movie. Along with both Ironman I and II, Thor paves the way for the Avengers movie next summer, and it will be HUGE. Not to give too much away, you must stay through the credits in Thor to see who the villain in The Avengers will be and it’s a little obvious if you see the movie.
Thor has it’s moments of hilarity, especially when Thor himself can’t grasp the fact that Earth is far different than his home of Asgard, a distant alternate universe. The supporting cast is filled with actors who have substantial credits to their names but Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) steal the screen with every scene they’re in, and yes Natalie Portman is in this movie, a fact I completely forgot until right now.
Plain and simple, see this movie!! I love what Marvel Studios is doing, making several movies all connected and yet giving them all their own separate stories. This will all culminate next summer in The Avengers, breaking box office records I guarantee.
Lately I have become obsessed with the work of Michael Fassbender, and if you haven’t seen anything he’s been in, or if you simply have no clue who he is, make it a point to catch up on some of his work. Most of you might know Michael Fassbender from having one of the best lines in Zack Snyder’s epic 300. When told that the Persian Army’s arrows will block out the sun, Fassbender’s character “Stelios” responds with “Then we will fight in the shade.”
His breakout role came in Tarrantino’s Inglorious Basterds playing Lt. Archie Hicox, the only British soldier to be included in any Basterds Missions. He shows his fluency in German for the majority of his scenes, but it’s his portrayal of a “high and mighty” British Officer that caught the eye of most film goers.
Following the popularity of Inglorious Basterds, Fassbender has been cast in several blockbusters awaiting release, and/or awaiting commencement on filming. This summer make sure you go check out X-men First Class, where we see Fassbender portraying Magneto, and he has also been cast in the prequel to the “Alien” franchise, “Prometheus”.
I just felt like sending a formal Thank You to Quentin Tarrantino for exposing the world to the art of Christoph Waltz. Following the MASSIVE success of Inglorious Basterds, Waltz has been everywhere, and following a 30 year career, he is finally being exposed to the masses. This year alone he has 2 movies awaiting release after he started the year playing the Villain in Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet. If you haven’t taken the time to witness Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, do it now. Rumor has it, Waltz and Tarrantino will be back together in 2012 for a western!! Bring it on.
Check him out this summer in:
Water for Elephants
The Three Musketeers
And if you’re like me and you even farther into the future, 2012 also brings:
God of Carnage