Tag Archives: Samuel L. Jackson

[Oscars 2013] – Predicting The Nominations

9 Jan

An actual Oscar statuette to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sits in a display case in Hollywood

I still have a few 2013 releases to catch up with, and I though I wanted to make my Oscar nominations predictions post having seen all of them, the nods are due early tomorrow morning so I’ll have to post them now.

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[Trailer] – Django Unchained

10 Oct

Not that anyone needed to get any more excited about this one but a new trailer for Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained has just been released and you can watch it below.

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[Trailer] – Django Unchained

6 Jun

It’s finally here: the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained has arrived, and you can watch it after the cut.

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[Review] – The Samaritan

2 Jun

Title: The Samaritan
Year: 2012
Director: David Weaver
Writers: David Weaver and Elan Mastai
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Luke Kirby, Ruth Negga, Tom Wilkinson, Gil Bellows, Aaron Poole
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Runtime: 90 min
IMDb Rating: 5.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Metacritic: 37

Samuel L. Jackson is a pretty badass guy, we can all agree on that, right? He’s Jules Winnfield, Shaft, Frozone, Nick Fury, and that guy who’s had it with the motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking plane. Ideally, had his latest film, The Samaritan, ended up being good, we could have added the role of Foley to that list of great kickass characters the screen icon has created. Unfortunately, not only is the film not good at all, but Mr. Jackson isn’t even doing his usual thing in it, instead just dully delivering lines without any kind of meaning or emotion.

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[Review] – The Avengers

27 Apr

Title: The Avengers
Year: 2012
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon, based on a story by himself and Zak Penn, based on the comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany
MPAA Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference
Runtime: 142 min
IMDb Rating: 8.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Metacritic: 71

Since Marvel started to produce their own films, the ultimate goal had always been assembling all of their superheroes into one huge omnibus-style movie with The Avengers, to maximize fandom and thus maximize commercial potential. That idea, of course, entirely depended on the success of the superheroes’ stand-alone outings, and on how successful the studio would be at creating a universe in which all of these characters co-exist, which was dubbed the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Captain America: The First Avenger

14 Aug

Title: Captain America: The First Avenger
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Joe Johnston
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, based on the comic books by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Starring: 
Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Haley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Stanley Tucci, Samuel L. Jackson
MPAA Rating: 
PG-13, intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Runtime: 
124 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
7.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 
79%

 

I feel kind of ashamed that I haven’t gotten around to seeing X-Men: First Class yet because I hear it’s pretty excellent, and had I seen it I could now be making my full assessment of this year’s superhero blockbusters. But in any case, Captain America: The First Avenger is the fourth and last superhero/comic-book movie of the 2011 summer season and, X-Men: First Class sight unseen, my favorite one of them all, and this comes from someone who really enjoyed Thor (I gave it a solid A-), though of course the less said about Green Lantern the better, as even if I did seem to like it a bit more than most did I still gave it a pretty mediocre C+. But yes, Captain America: The First Avenger is a damn fine summer movie, it’s just unashamedly retro and pulpy and it’s just pure blockbuster fun at the theater, not to mention that it actually counts with some pretty solid performances from its cast as well.

And if Thor came with huge implications for the Marvel movies because it was the one that would test if the company could make films about their superheroes which lived in another universe successfully (they could), this one actually came with bigger expectations tied to it, because this is the last film we’ll get until next year’s insanely buzzed-about Avengers movie, and if this one failed to introduce Captain America in a great manner and set up things nicely for next year’s huge tentpole, then the outcome of the 2012 outing that will see Iron Man, Thor, Cap, Hulk and Hawkeye together could have been compromised. But whatever expectations this one had coming into it, it didn’t even pay mind to them as it shattered them, because Captain America: The First Avenger did everything it had to do, and it did it right, and it also managed to establish Chris Evans as a pretty awesome Captain America.

Seriously, I didn’t know what to make of Mr. Evans’ casting as Captain America (when the casting process was unraveling I was part of those who wanted to see what John Krasinski would do with the role), but I found that he looked the part to the bone, and also had the whole patriotic attitude down to perfection, embodying with the precise amount of conviction that made Cap seem super genuine and plain awesome and not one bit too corny. And he really gets a lot of the credit for the film being as great as it ultimately was, the humor and heart that he brings to the role is essentially what keeps us watching this film intently.

Yes, it ultimately really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but I don’t care if it’s not groundbreaking or masterful, it’s still undeniably well-made, undeniably well-acted and insanely entertaining, and for a comic book geek like myself, that’s really all you can ask for. I mean, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, the scrawny Brooklyn guy who wants to fight in World War II was just terrific, and you had Stanley Tucci as a scientist who something special in him, and then you have Hugo Weaving as the villain, Red Skull, a former Nazi leader who now has a splinter group that’s developing some menacing weapons. There’s also Haley Atwell as the romantic interest in here, Peggy Carter, and Tommy Lee Jones as a military leader who’s skeptical of Steve’s potential as Cap. These are all great actors here, and what’s great is that director Joe Johnston actually uses their talents and allows them to shine, Tommy Lee Jones especially, who of course can do this sort of character in his sleep at this point of his illustrious career, but still, you don’t really get to see that much actual good acting in superhero films nowadays, and I loved that about this film.

And I also have to point out another good thing about this film, and that’s the 3D. If you’re a regular reader of mine you know that I, like most, am totally against the technology and I think it’s just a fad for studios to make money (though, to be fair, why shouldn’t they?) and it really brings nothing new or good to 95% of the movies that use it, but instead just makes things darker and uncomfortable. Now, I’ve seen this film twice, with and without the added dimension, and even though I obviously prefer it and advice you to see it in regular 2D, I didn’t really mind the 3D at all in this one, it somehow manages to maintain its amazing and substantial look, which is all about sepia tones that make the whole film look and feel extraordinarily retro, and which I adored.

Like I said, I haven’t yet seen X-Men: First Class for one reason or another, and even though I have great hopes for it, if Captain America: The First Avenger finishes off as my favorite superhero film of the summer, that’d be all very well with me, because it really is a spectacular movie. It has an underdog story at first, and then it has a story about the dangers of what fame can do when achieved quickly and in great quantities, and it’s just pure entertainment, with some great effects and a bunch of stellar supporting performances and in Chris Evans’ starring one it finds an actor that plays a terrific Captain America, adding a depth to a character that very easily could’ve come out as just way too corny. Go watch Captain America: The First Avenger, that’s all I’m saying, for one thing, you need to in order to fully appreciate Joss Whedon’s take on The Avengers when it finally arrives next summer (and be sure to stick until the very end of this one for a sneak peek at that), and go see it just because it’s one of the best summer movies of this year, even in 3D.

Grade: A-

Emmy Nominations

14 Jul

Melissa McCarthy and Joshua Jackson announced the Emmy nominations bright and early this morning, and there were quite a few interesting nominations to say the least, as well as your usual group of horribly snubbed actors and shows, but then again it wouldn’t be the Emmy nominations if you weren’t cheering uncontrollably for someone while you were weeping over the exclusion of someone else. I did four EmmyWatch posts last month, tackling the major categories in the Drama, Comedy, TV Movie/Miniseries and Reality/Variety races, so now I’ll list the full set of nominations, and a brief reaction to it, including how I did with my predictions.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men
Reaction: I went 5-for-6 in this one, I predicted Justified over Game of Thrones. However, Game of Thrones was amongst my 6 dream nominees so I’m happy about it. Still this one is still probably a Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men race to the finish line, and I’m just happy that my beloved Friday Night Lights was finally given a shot to compete in the big race.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
  • Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
  • Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
  • Hugh Laurie (House)
  • Timothy Olyphant (Justified)
Reaction: Also went 5-for-6 in this category, predicting a William H. Macy nod over that of Timothy Olyphant. That said, Olyphant was actually my #3 dream nominee, and hearing his name called out was one of the happiest moments of the nominations for me, so I’m seriously glad he’s in there. Much like in the Outstanding Drama category, though, this is a Boardwalk Empire vs. Mad Men battle.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law)
  • Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
  • Mireille Enos (The Killing)
  • Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
  • Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Reaction: I went 4-for-6 here. I predicted Katey Sagal and Kyra Sedgwick instead of Bates and Hargitay. And those misses are weird to me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Sagal won the Globe and I can’t believe she got snubbed again by the Emmy’s. Sedgwick actually won this last year and her total omission from this year’s race was bizarre. And Kathy Bates may be great, but Harry’s Law really isn’t, this just goes to prove how Emmy voters sometimes just vote for the name.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
  • Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
  • Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
  • Walton Goggins (Justified)
  • John Slattery (Mad Men)
  • Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age)
Reaction: A strong 5-for-6 showing again in this category. And, again, the one prediction I missed was one I was still incredibly happy to hear. I had Michael Pitt of Boardwalk Empire getting a nod because I reckoned the voters wanted to go deep for their love of the HBO crime saga, but Goggins got in there, and he was actually my #2 dream nominee, so I was damn happy about his inclusion. Still pissed about the lack of John Noble, though.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
  • Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
  • Christine Baranksi (The Good Wife)
  • Margo Martindale (Justified)
  • Michelle Forbes (The Killing)
  • Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Reaction: Another 5-for-6 here. Missed Forbes’ nomination in favor of Sharon Gless. However, Forbes was #4 dream nominee and I don’t even watch Burn Notice so I was seriously glad to miss out on a perfect prediction score here.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • The Office
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
Reaction: 5-for-6 again here, but I was SO happy about that, because that miss of mine in this category meant that Parks and Rec, my #2 dream nominee, got in instead of Nurse Jackie which I had predicted to get a nod. The Big Bang Theory also finally broke through to the big race. Still, the thing that pissed me off the most about today’s nominations was the overall lack of love for Community.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Louis C.K. (Louie)
  • Steve Carell (The Office)
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Reaction: 4-for-6 in this one. I had Joel McHale and Matthew Morrison instead of Louis and Galecki. And while I was ecstatic to hear Louis C.K. named this morning (he was #5 in my dream ballot), and I loved that he got in instead of Morrison, I don’t really care much for Galecki and the fact that he probably meant McHale wasn’t nominated ticks me off.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Laura Linney (The Big C)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
  • Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope)
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Reaction: 5-for-6 again, I had Toni Collette instead of McCarthy in this one. Still, it was awesome to see Poehler and Plimpton get in, and I actually quite liked the fact that they realized this was a comedy category and Lea Michele got snubbed.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Chris Colfer (Glee)
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
  • Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Reaction: 4-for-6 here, I predicted Nick Offerman (who was my #1 dream nominee) and Neil Patrick Harris over Cryer and Ferguson. But I guess the Modern Family party prevailed (and I’m actually very happy about that) and the voters wanted to give Cryer the nod for having to put up with Sheen’s antics, which is good too, I guess. I just wanted to see Ron Swanson in there.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
  • Jane Lynch (Glee)
  • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
  • Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
  • Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Reaction: Finally, my first 6-for-6! Though I was still holding out for a surprise Alison Brie or Aubrey Plaza nod.
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
  • The Amazing Race
  • American Idol
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
Reaction: 5-for-6. I was hoping The Voice would get in there instead of So You Think You Can Dance, but here’s hoping it’ll make the shortlist next season!
OUTSTANDING REALITY SERIES
  • Hoarders
  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Deadliest Catch
  • MythBusters
  • Undercover  Boss
  • Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Reaction: 4-for-6, not bad considering this was the category I randomly guessed because I only watch Mythbusters out of the contenders.
OUTSTANDING REALITY HOST
  • Jeff Probst (Survivor)
  • Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance)
  • Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race)
  • Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars)
  • Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Reaction: 4-for-5. I was thinking Padma Lakshmi over Deeley here.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
  • The Colbert Report
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Conan
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Reaction: 5-for-6 here, I went with Letterman over Fallon in my predictions, but I’m damn glad Fallon got in, he keeps getting better and better.
OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Mildred Pierce
  • Downton Abbey
  • The Kennedys
  • Cinema Verite
  • Too Big to Fail
  • The Pillars of the Earth
Reaction: 4-for-6 here, and I’m really pissed that Carlos (my far-and-out #1 dream nominee) wasn’t nominated. I also predicted Luther would get in but it didn’t.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Greg Kinnear (The Kennedys)
  • Barry Pepper (The Kennedys)
  • Édgar Ramírez (Carlos)
  • William Hurt (Too Big to Fail)
  • Idris Elba (Luther)
  • Laurence Fishburne (Thurgood)
Reaction: 4-for-6 again in this one, I had Hugh Bonneville and Samuel L. Jackson over Kinnear and Pepper, because I really didn’t think The Kennedys was going to get this ridiculous amount of love. Still, Ramírez and Elba got in here, and that’s really all I cared about.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce)
  • Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey)
  • Diane Lane (Cinema Verite)
  • Taraji P. Henson (Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story)
  • Jean Marsh (Upstairs Downstairs)
Reaction: 4-for-5 here, even though I did 6 predictions and Henson was in there but at #6 so I’m not going to count her. I had Haley Atwell over her. Still, this Emmy probably already has Winslet’s name engraved on it.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce)
  • Brian F. O’Byrne (Mildred Pierce)
  • Tom Wilkinson (The Kennedys)
  • Paul Giamatti (Too Big to Fail)
  • James Woods (Too Big to Fail)
Reaction: 4-for-5, I had Tim Robbins over Wilkinson, even though Wilkinson was my #6 in the predictions. I just didn’t anticipate The Kennedys getting this much love.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
  • Evan Rachel Wood (Mildred Pierce)
  • Melissa Leo (Mildred Pierce)
  • Mare Winningham (Mildred Pierce)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Eileen Atkins (Upstairs Downstairs)
Reaction: 4-for-5 again here, I had Cynthia Nixon over Winningham, but apparently Mildred Pierce just dominated the category.
So there they are, the Emmy nominations for the categories I had predicted and commented on in my EmmyWatch posts. As the ceremony grows nearer I’ll make similar posts detailing the state of the race and my final prediction for who will actually win it, but for now let’s just let these nods simmer. There were plenty to be happy about (The Justified love, the Friday Night Lights love, Ed O’Neill finally getting in) but there were also a fair share of misses (like the shut-outs for Community and Fringe), but all for all it was a solid pack of nominees. As for my predictions, I went an overall 86-for-110, which I think is pretty damn solid, and hopefully my accuracy won’t fall when predicting the actual winners!