Congratulations Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, winner of the Oscar for Best Director! This is now four years in a row that I've interviewed the Best Director winner. Though at the time, I wasn't thinking about awards or anything else besides what to ask about the film and their process as a filmmaker. In an industry that loves data and obsessing over success, I can't help but notice a bit of a pattern here. Not that I am any indicator or predictor or grand wizard of the Oscars, but if anything I have my eye trained on very talented filmmakers and outstanding films. With Iñárritu winning this year, that makes four years in a row of winners interviewed, including Alfonso Cuarón, Ang Lee, even Michel Hazanavicius (of The Artist).
After playing at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, the tribal martial arts flick The Dead Lands is headed to theaters this spring, and it just might put New Zealand on the map when it comes to action. The film features the traditional (and terrifying) Maori martial art of armed combat known as Mau rakau, making the film full of genuine culture as it's set in pre-colonial New Zealand. We got a glimpse of the film last year when it hit TIFF, and now a red band trailer has just surfaced to show off how brutal this flick can be. Between this and What We Do in the Shadows, there's good stuff coming out of New Zealand.
Pretty much everything came up Birdman at the 87th Academy Awards last weekend, with the exception of Michael Keaton not winning Best Actor. Director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu took home Best Director, and the film also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture. And since the film is already available on Blu-Ray and DVD, clearly Fox Searchlight wants to keep the excitement going since a faux commercial for the official Birdman action figure, which Alex Billington received when the film hit theaters last fall. It's the kind of commercial you'd see for action figures in the 90s (and occasionally still see today). Watch!
Previously we've seen a couple of impressive short films from producer Ari Shankar from the comic book universe. Joe Lynch directed Truth in Journalism, a take off on the Spider-Man character Venom, and Mike Pecci directed The Dead Can't Be Distracted, which was a bootleg version of The Punisher. Now Shankar is back with Power/Rangers, a gritty, R-rated, 14-minute short film directed by Joseph Kahn (Torque) that adapts "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers." The film certainly puts an interesting twist on the mythology of the Japanese imported action adventure, and it's much different from the eventual big screen take on the way. Plus, it stars James Van Der Beek and Katie Sackhoff, which is just completely surreal. Watch!
Last night it was Birdman that took home Best Picture at the 87th Academy Awards. The film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is certainly deserving of praise and reward, but there's part of me that thinks Boyhood will be the film that stands the test of time a little better. Even though Richard Linklater went home empty-handed last night, he delivered a film that already means a lot to many people. It's a touching story, and a grand achievement in filmmaking. And editor Joel Walden wanted to pay tribute to Linklater and his whole filmography, which includes Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise and more. Watch it!
After handing out the award for Best Picture last night, Sean Penn is back today in the secondm quick trailer for The Gunman, the latest thriller from Taken director Pierre Morel. Penn just happens to be getting some flack today for saying "Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?" when he handed an Oscar to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, but the filmmaker knew it was a harmless joke. However, Penn certainly isn't messing around in what could be a whole new phase to his career. However, not every aging actor can follow the same trajectory as Liam Neeson did, though it's sometimes entertaining to see them try. Watch?
It's become tradition for Jimmy Kimmel to have some fun with a cavalcade of Hollywood's biggest talents right after the Academy Awards are over. Last year he had actors like Kevin Spacey star in feature film adaptations of internet viral videos, and previously he delivered trailers for Movie: The Movie as well as the sequel Movie: The Movie 2V starring the likes of Tom Hanks, Jessica Chastain and more. This year he put together The Kimmel School of Perfect Acting featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyong'o, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Aniston and of course, Matt Damon (and tons of other actors and actresses as well). The late night host also gave Neil Patrick Harris a pep talk after the show too. Watch below now!
We already know who took home a trophy last night at the 87th Academy Awards (check out the full winner list right here), but since it's the morning after, people are still buzzing about the ceremony. There were some incredible speeches from the winners as well as cool musical performances as well. But we also wanted to call attention to some great graphic design work from Henry Hobson for creating the title cards for last night's nominees. We've got a video showing off his creations for all eight Best Picture nomiees, and you can see some stills from the other categories too. They're stylish and meticulously crafted. Look now!
During last night's 87th Academy Awards, there were more than a couple of musical performances. Not only was there an opening number from Neil Patrick Harris and Anna Kendrick, as well as a 50th anniversary tribute to The Sound of Music from Lady Gaga, but each of the Best Original Song nominees also got time to shine. However, The LEGO Movie and Selma clearly had the standout performances from the nominee pool for very different reasons. While the performance of the catchy "Everything is Awesome" was colorful and crazy, the rendition of "Glory" brought tears to many eyes. Watch below!
Hollywood's big night has come and gone, and now that the 87th Academy Awards have been presented, we can look back at the highlights of last night's ceremony that only ran 40 minutes long. Neil Patrick Harris was the host last night, and while the show started with a pretty cool musical number and some genuine opening remarks about the magic of film, the show still devolved into being boring, slow and delivering only remarkable moments in the speeches from the night's winners. But there were some great performances from the Best Original Song nominees and also one special segment from Lady Gaga. Watch!
Even though the 87th Academy Awards are tonight (we'll have the list of winners available here after they're announced), the weekend already saw another celebration for cinema with the 30th Independent Spirit Awards, honoring achievements in independent filmmaking. It's one of those years where there's actually a lot of overlap with the Oscars and the Spirit Awards, with Boyhood, Birdman, Whiplash and Nightcrawler (though Selma got more love from the indie world). You can see the winners right here, but if you missed the ceremony on IFC last night, then you simply must check out this spectacular spoof of Birdman featuring comedians Fred Armisen, Kristen Bell, Bill Hader, Miles Teller and more.
Over a year ago at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, one of the buzzed about projects was a touching family drama called Infinitely Polar Bear. The film features a remarkable lead performance by Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) as Cam Stuart, a father in 1978 who is manic depressive, creating a rift between him and his wife (Zoe Saldana) and their two daughters. But Cam tries desperately to keep his family together at all costs. The film doesn't have distribution in the United States for some reason (it's a great movie though), but it's arriving in Australia soon, and a trailer from down under has just surfaced online. Watch below!
During the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, we highlighted what seemed to be the first trailer for the comedy Welcome to Me starring Kristen Wiig. However, that turned out to be a sales trailer for the film while it was still looking for distribution, and it was taken down. But now the real, official trailer for the film has surfaced as the film has been set to arrive in limited theaters in May. In the film Wiig plays a woman with borderline personality disorder who manages to get her own show on a local TV network after she wins the lottery jackpot. It looks like a fun, quirky showcase for Wiig but there's a great supporting cast too. Watch!
"This time it ain't just about being fast." Though the last three-minute trailer for Furious 7 showed up pretty much everything we need to see in order to be excited for the sequel, a little more footage couldn't hurt. A new international trailer has just surfaced with some snippets of new footage, including a new glimpse at some crazy event called "Race Wars." There's also a little more footage of Michelle Rodriguez and Ronda Rousey getting into it this time. This sequel is going to be nuts, and it should make for one hell of a send-off for the late Paul Walker. We've only got a little over a month before it arrives. Watch below!