Tag Archives: Tommy Lee Jones

[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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[Review] – Lincoln

18 Nov

Title: Lincoln
Year: 2012
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Tony Kushner, based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, Walton Goggins, Jared Harris, David Oyelowo, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson
MPAA Rating: PG-13, an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
Runtime: 149 min
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Metacritic: 87

No disrespect to Timur Bekmambetov and the utterly mediocre Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but we all know that the real 2012 film about honest Abe was the one directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the beloved President and featuring no vampires. This was a movie that Mr. Spielberg had been wanting to make for over a decade (at first he had Liam Neeson pegged for the role) and that he took his time assembling the team to make it happen, getting Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kusher (who had co-written Munich for him) to adapt Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s massive book about Lincoln and then assembling a truly stunning ensemble to bring the story of the final four months of such an iconic life to the screen.

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[Trailer] – Lincoln

13 Sep

Finally, here it is, feast your eyes upon it, the first full trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln has just been released, and you can watch it below.

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[Review] – Hope Springs

29 Aug

Title: Hope Springs
Year: 2012
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Vanessa Taylor
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue
MPAA Rating: PG-13, mature thematic content involving sexuality
Runtime: 100 min
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Metacritic: 66

I have a total and unapologetic love for The Devil Wears Prada. I read and like the book, and then I saw and absolutely loved the movie. Everything about that film was pretty great, the soundtrack, the fashion, Anne Hathaway and, of course, most of all, Meryl Streep as the inimitably ruthless Miranda Priestly. That role got Ms. Streep her 14th Academy Award nomination, and even though it would take her three further tries to finally win her third golden man last year, it really was a terrific performance that only a living legend like her could have played that well.

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[Review] – Men In Black III

25 May

Title: Men in Black III
Year: 2012
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writers: Etan Cohen, David Koepp, Jeff Nathanson and Michael Soccio, based on the comic book by Lowell Cunningham
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Emma Thompson, Nicole Scherzinger, Alice Eve, Bill Hader
MPAA Rating: PG-13, sci-fi action violence, and brief suggestive content
Runtime: 103 min
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Metacritic: 58

Men in Black, the 1997 film, is one that I absolutely love, probably one of the most entertaining summer blockbusters of the last twenty years or so, actually, and that was because it was ridiculously smart in how it was plotted out and written, because the set pieces were undeniably awesome, and because the lead performances, by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, had infinite amounts of charm. That was back when Will Smith was just becoming a movie star, and that was the third film in that streak he used in the mid-nineties to really consolidate himself as one of the biggest box office draws in the planet, after the success of both Bad Boys in 1995 and Independence Day in 1996.

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[Trailer] – Hope Springs

25 Apr

In case you thought Meryl Streep was done racking up Oscar nominations, here’s another film that may just get her to expand her own record and get an eighteenth nomination. She is, after all, reteaming with her The Devil Wears Prada director, David Frankel, for Hope Springs (formerly titled Great Hope Springs), for which a trailer hast just been released, and you can watch it after the cut.

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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-