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January 18: Happy Birthday Mark Rylance and Cary Grant


0118rylancegrant

Mark Rylance, who is celebrating his 57th today, is the newest of England’s long line of “theatrical knights.”  He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982.  During his stage career, he has worked extensively on both the West End and Broadway.  He has won two Olivier Awards, as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and in the lead role in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem.  To go with them, he has three Tonys, one for Jerusalem, one for a revival of Marc Camoletti’s Boeing-Boeing, and one for playing Olivia in an all-male performance of Twelfth Night.  He served for 10 years as the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe.

Rylance’s first major film role was as Ferdinand in Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books, a very loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  He has won two BAFTA Television Awards for Best Actor, for the 2005 TV movie The Government Inspector, and for the 2015 miniseries Wolf Hall, adapted from historical novels by Hilary Mantel, in which he plays the lead role of Thomas Cromwell.  The latter role brought him nominations for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe.  Last year, Rylance won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Bridge of Spies.

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Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Lethal Weapon Vs. The Untouchables


lethal-weapon-vs-the-untouchables

As we move into a new year, it’s a Le Blog tradition to spend the month of January looking back at the movies of the past.  Yep, the bracket games are back.  For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be pairing up movies from thirty years ago to pick the reader’s favorite flick from 1987.  I think you will all agree when you see the line-up that it was a pretty solid year with enduring entries in many different genres.

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Movieline Cover Gallery 1991

Movieline Cover Gallery 1985-1988

Quest for Failure


murphy - harlem nights

“What I really want to do is direct.”

In the nineties, it seemed like every movie star wanted to take a turn in the director’s chair.  A couple of them were highly successful in that endeavor.  Most weren’t so lucky.  Just before Kevin Costner hit the jackpot with Dances With Wolves and before Mel Gibson scored Oscar gold with Braveheart, F.X. Feeney examined the phenomenon of actors who try to direct.  In this article from the July 1990 issue of Movieline magazine, Feeney asks why movie stars keep stepping behind the camera.

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Best Worst Picture Bracket Game: The Postman Vs. Battlefield Earth


Postman Vs. Battlefield Earth

Movie stars reigned supreme in the nineties.  An actor who had demonstrated drawing power at the box office could jump-start their pet project even when no one else believed in it.  At least two of the decade’s biggest stars decided that the best use of their cache was a sci-fi opus that meant something.  The Postman attempted to make audiences appreciate the simple gifts a central government brings like daily mail whereas Battlefield Earth tried to cover it’s pro-Scientology message with Star Wars window dressing.  But critics and audiences alike found these movies more ridiculous than enlightening.

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Kevin Costner: All That Kevin Allows


Costner - Robin Hood

Twenty-five years ago, Kevin Costner was at the top of his game.  He had just won Oscar gold with his directorial debut, Dances With Wolves and he was about to dominate the box office with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  Movieline devoted their cover story to him in the May 1991 issue despite the fact that Costner declined to be interviewed!

Without access to the subject of the story, Stephen Rebello talked to the people behind the man.  The article ended up giving insights into the making of a movie star.

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Starlog Archives: Kevin Costner Rules as Robin Hood


Twenty-five years ago, Kevin Costner was a box office smash playing the least English Robin Hood in movie history.  Starlog devoted the cover of its summer movie preview to the blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1997


Razzies 1997

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The eighteenth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1997.   Titanic and Men in Black were the highest-grossing movies that year.  At the Oscars, James Cameron proved he was king of the world when he won Best Director and Robin Williams won Best Actor for Goodwill Hunting.  Meanwhile, the Razzies were getting apocalyptic with The Postman.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1995


Razzies 1995

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The sixteenth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1995.   Toy Story and Batman Forever were the highest-grossing movies that year.  Braveheart won Best Picture and Mel Gibson took home the Best Director statue.  Nicholas Cage won Best Actor for Leaving Las Vegas and Mira Sorvino won Best Supporting Actress for playing a prostitute in Mighty Aphrodite.  The Razzies were more interested in strippers than prostitutes as Showgirls dominated the awards.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1994


Razzie 1994

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The fifteenth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1994.  The Lion King and Forrest Gump were the highest-grossing movies that year.  David Letterman introduced Oprah Winfrey to Uma Thurman at the Oscars which was a showdown between Gump and Pulp.  Tom Hanks won his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar which set the tone for a Forrest Gump sweep.  The Razzies introduced a couple of new categories which allowed them to spread the love around.

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Post-Apocalyptic Movie Bracket Game: Waterworld Vs. The Road Warrior


Water World Vs. The Road Warrior

It’s the end of the world as we know it.  And I feel fine.  In celebration of Mad Max: Fury Road, we’re getting post-apocalyptic.  So get ready to fight off zombies, scavenge for goods and run for your life!  And maybe spend some quality time in an abandoned mall or Bill Murray’s house.  We’re looking at what happens in movies when society crumbles.  Are we replaced by apes or pod people?  Is Kevin Costner a fish person or a postman?  Our dystopian future is up to you.

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Post-Apocalyptic Movie Bracket Game: The Postman Vs. Waterworld


The Postman Vs. Waterworld

It’s the end of the world as we know it.  And I feel fine.  In celebration of Mad Max: Fury Road, we’re getting post-apocalyptic.  So get ready to fight off zombies, scavenge for goods and run for your life!  And maybe spend some quality time in an abandoned mall or Bill Murray’s house.  We’re looking at what happens in movies when society crumbles.  Are we replaced by apes or pod people?  Is Kevin Costner a fish person or a postman?  Our dystopian future is up to you.

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