Let’s face it: Tragic career spirals are as common in Hollywood as Botox and traffic jams. Nobody seriously asks the question, Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)? because the answer is obvious and unsurprising: He chose a couple of bad projects (Zac Efron); his ego got the better of him (Vin Diesel); drugs (Lindsay Lohan); bad reviews (Ryan Reynolds); people forgot about him (whatshisname). It’s the nature of the business. Did you know, for example, that the actor who portrayed the magnetic bad boy Kelly Leak form the original Bad News Bears movie, Jackie Earle Haley, is a renowned and busy character actor these days; or that Karate Kid nemesis William Zabka has been popping up in television shows of late?
Expectations have followed him everywhere. Whether as the second pick in the NHL draft in 1993 or when he was traded for a popular All-Star like Brendan Shanahan, Chris Pronger knew he had to perform. Some cave under the pressure, but Pronger thrived. All he did was make six All-Star games, win two gold medals at the Olympics, a Stanley Cup, a Norris Trophy for being the top defenseman, and a Hart Trophy for being the Most Valuable Player.
Well, we are halfway through the summer movie season and the news is not good. Critics and insiders are calling this the summer of the flop, and despite the obvious (Oblivion, After Earth, White House Down, The Lone Ranger) I wonder why that is. I mean, come on, crappy action movies have been as much a part of the summer fabric as baseball games and BBQs. Why suddenly are movie-goers voting with their wallets?
Caught up on your tabloids? Watching bad reality TV? Enjoying lots (and lots) of CGI and special effects at the cineplex? Let’s see if you have your finger on the pulse.
OK. If your Oscar checklist is complete, and you are nauseated by the options at the cineplex—as well you should be—there is a silver lining. Not Silver Linings Playbook yet, but you have options. There are some great DVDs that came out this week, so if you want to stay in and hunker down with a good movie, these are my suggestions:
Let me start off by saying that had I written my traditional list of Oscar predictions—for which I have a remarkably accurate record. Well, I would have failed miserably this year. This had to have been one of the most unusual, scattered, unpredictable, Academy Awards I have ever seen. That being said, I am prepared to eat a little crow and perhaps do a little Monday morning-quarterbacking.
Ryan Robertson arguably posted the best career stats of any high school player in our town's history. Now that he's returned home, Robertson is coaching his children's basketball teams.
February is finally here, which means Oscar season is finally here. Nevertheless, the hangover of the January curse still lingers. So I have compiled a list of dos and don’ts, if you are so inclined to head to the theater in the next couple of weeks. These are the dos.
It’s that time of year when A-list actors wait patiently by the phone and pretend that awards mean nothing (and that approval from colleagues and fans is recognition enough), but hoping against hope that their agent calls to tell them they got an Oscar nomination. The nominations were announced last week, and I must say there were a few surprises…and not the good kind.
The lists are fairly uncontroversial this year. I said fairly. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, there are three films on the list that I have not yet seen. I just feel that confident. So, without further ado...
You’ve got to love a good comeback story; and if ever a phoenix has risen from the ashes, it is Ben Affleck. To go from Gigli to this…wow. While studios are busy pumping out a fifth Die Hard sequel and making an animated Peanuts movie, it is gratifying to know that there is some thoughtful, intelligent film-making happening in Hollywood.
Now would be a good time to talk about something we learned about in high school: willing suspension of disbelief. It’s known in the Baldwin household as the ‘because it’s a movie’ response. It’s the thing that lets you turn off the part of your brain that says, Batman probably couldn’t survive that jump, and just go with it. Whether you are making a movie like this, acting in a movie like this or watching a movie like this: you have to invest. And Clash of the Titans certainly has given you the cast and special effects to do just that.
I bet you never thought there would be a movie with a title like this showing at Plaza Frontenac Cinema, but there is. This is screenwriter Victor Argo’s inexplicable follow-up to his highly controversial 1992 film, Bad Lieutenant. Renowned independent film director Werner Herzog helms this project, a dark glimpse into the many sources of corruption that present themselves to law enforcement.