The Playground of Hollywood

The Playground of Hollywood

Saturday, September 10, 2011

R.I.P. Cliff Robertson

Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar for his performance in "Charly" in 1968, passed away this afternoon, the age of 88. In fact, yesterday was his 88th birthday. He passed away of natural causes.

Even though he was an Oscar winner, his most well-known roles were John F. Kennedy in the 1963 film "PT-109", the first film to portray a sitting president, and the role of Uncle Ben in the "Spider-Man" franchise.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Cliff.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Top Films of 2010

For some reason, when I was going thru some of the older blog posts, I could've find my post for the top films of last year. Maybe somehow it got deleted, I'm not sure, but if only for continuity sake, here were my choices for the best films of 2010.

Films 11-30 (Honorable Mentions and close calls)

127 Hours
Animal Kingdom
Another Year
Blue Valentine
Easy A
Exit Through the Gift Shop
The Fighter
Get Low
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
Let Me In
Never Let Me Go
Rabbit Hole
Shutter Island
Toy Story 3
The Way Back
Winter's Bone

And my choices for the top ten films of 2010 are...

10. NOWHERE BOY -- dir. Sam Taylor-Wood
9. THE TOWN -- dir. Ben Affleck
8. KICK-ASS -- dir. Matthew Vaughn
7. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON -- dir. Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders

6. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD -- dir. Edgar Wright

5. TRUE GRIT -- dir. Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

4. THE GHOST WRITER -- dir. Roman Polanski

3. BLACK SWAN -- dir. Darren Aronofsky

2. INCEPTION -- dir. Christopher Nolan

1. THE SOCIAL NETWORK -- dir. David Fincher

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I'm looking forward to...

It's officially September, which means that most of the big guns in the Oscar race will show themselves in the next 4 months. Plenty of possibilities, and with the new rule about a random # of Best Picture nominees, who knows how it'll play out. But regardless, with a slight look ahead, here are the films that I'm looking forward to for the rest of the year.

This year has had a very good films so far, and more than a few surprises, good or bad. But as far as Oscar bait, only a few films emerged with even a possible chance.

**Midnight in Paris -- Woody Allen's best film since Match Point in 2005.

**The Tree of Life -- Terrence Malick's new film. Amazing, and as divinding as a film can be.

**Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- One of the best films of the year so far ( is), and one of the best reviewed films of the year so far ( is), combined with the $$$$ making prowess and the fact that it's the final films (nomination for the whole series). Could be? People would definitely watch!

**The Help -- Unexpected help from the public (#1 Box Office 2 weeks in a row), and a possible nominated performance from Viola Davis.

**Super 8 -- the longest of longshots, but one of the best films of the year so far.

I'm sure some of these will bomb, and some films aren't on my radar yet, but regardless, here they are. The films listed in BOLD are films that I can see figuring into this year's Oscar race in one way or another, be it for technical, performance, or Picture.


50/50 -- dir. Jonathan Levine -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston

Contagion -- dir. Steven Soderbergh -- Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne

Dream House -- dir. Jim Sheridan -- Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts

Drive -- dir. Nicolas Winding Refn -- Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks

Moneyball -- dir. Bennett Miller -- Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Straw Dogs -- dir. Rod Lurie -- James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, Alexander Sarsgard

Warrior -- dir. Gavin O'Connor -- Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte


Anonymous -- dir. Roland Emmerich -- Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis

The Big Year -- dir. David Frankel -- Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin

Footloose -- dir. Craig Brewer -- Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell

The Ides of March -- dir. George Clooney -- Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti

In Time -- dir. Andrew Niccol -- Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfriend, Olivia Wilde

Martha Marcy May Marlene -- dir. Sean Durkin -- Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson

Real Steel -- dir. Shawn Levy -- Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo

The Rum Diary -- dir. Bruce Robinson -- Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart

The Skin I Live In -- dir. Pedro Almodovar -- Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya


The Artist -- dir. Michael Hazanavicius -- Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman

The Descendants -- dir. Alexander Payne -- George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Matthew Lillard

Hugo -- dir. Martin Scorsese -- Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen

Immortals -- dir. Tarsem Singh -- Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Luke Evans, Stephen Dorff

J. Edgar -- dir. Clint Eastwood -- Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Jeffrey Donovan

Jack and Jill -- dir. Dennis Dugan -- Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino

Melancholia -- dir. Lars von Trier -- Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Sarsgard

The Muppets -- dir. James Bobin -- Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, MUPPETS!!!

My Week With Marilyn -- dir. Simon Curtis -- Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh

Puss in Boots -- dir. Chris Miller -- (voices) Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy -- dir. Tomas Alfredson -- Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Ciaran Hinds

Tower Heist -- dir. Brett Ratner -- Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick


The Adventures of Tintin -- dir. Steven Spielberg -- (voices) Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis

Albert Nobbs -- dir. Rodrigo Garcia -- Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Brendan Gleeson

Carnage -- dir. Roman Polanski -- Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John. C Reilly

Coriolanus -- dir. Ralph Fiennes -- Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave

A Dangerous Method -- dir. David Cronenberg -- Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- dir. Stephen Daldry -- Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo -- dir. David Fincher -- Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer

In the Land of Blood and Honey -- dir. Angelina Jolie -- Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic, Rade Serbedzija

The Iron Lady -- dir. Phyllida Lloyd -- Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent

Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol -- dir. Brad Bird -- Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows -- dir. Guy Ritchie -- Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace

War Horse -- dir. Steven Spielberg -- Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson

We Bought a Zoo -- dir. Cameron Crowe -- Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church

We Need to Talk About Kevin -- dir. Lynne Ramsay -- Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

Young Adult -- dir. Jason Reitman -- Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt