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December 31: Happy Birthday Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley


1231hopkinskingsley

Our two headliners today will both be seen in the upcoming movie Collide, so it was not hard to find a few photo headers pairing them out there.  They are also both knights, and both are winners of the Oscar for Best Actor.

Sir Anthony Hopkins turns 79 today.  He was influenced to enter acting by his fellow Welshman, Richard Burton.  Sir Laurence Olivier invited him to join the Royal National Theatre in the mid-sixties, and his first major film role was as Prince Richard (later King Richard I) in The Lion in Winter.

During the 1970s and ’80s he appeared in a wide variety of films, including Young Winston (as David Lloyd George), A Bridge Too Far, The Elephant Man, and The Bounty (as William Bligh).  He also won a pair of Emmys, both for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.  However, it was in a 1991 film that he played his best-known role for the first time:

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Movieline Cover Gallery 1995

Val Kilmer: Number One With a Bullet?


kilmer kidman batman forever

 

Ever since Top Gun in 1986, Val Kilmer had been flirting with moviestardom.  While his costar became a megastar, A-list status eluded Kilmer for the better part of a decade.  In 1995, when Kilmer stepped into the Batsuit for Batman Forever, it seemed like that would finally change.  As we know now, things didn’t exactly go as planned for Kilmer and the Bat-franchise.  In the June 1995 issue of Movieline, the eccentric actor discussed his career choices and the possibility of a long and prosperous run as the Dark Knight.

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Bio-Musicals: Interrupted Melodies


Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan - The Doors - 1991

In the May 1990 issue of Movieline, Charles Oakley examined the state of the bio-musical genre.  He chronicles some of the difficult projects that fell apart while expressing optimism for future biopics.  Ironically, the vast majority of the rumored projects talked about never came to be or if they did, the finished movie was radically different from what was being discussed in 1990.

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Readers Rank the Batman Movies


Batman Posters

For the last couple of weeks, we have been looking back at Batman and Superman movies of the past.  After ranking the movies starring Batman from worst to first, I asked readers to do the same.  Usually, the reader rankings are pretty close to my own.  But we’ve got some big differences this time.  Overall, the votes were spread out more than usual reflecting a general lack of consensus.

Let’s take a look at how the readers ranked the Batman movies.
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Worst To First: Ranking the Batman Movies


Next Friday, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time.  Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.  Last week, we ranked the Superman movies.  So now it’s Batman’s turn.

On the whole, Batman has fared better than Superman at the movies.  But overall, most of his movies still aren’t very good.  Before we get started, a couple of ground rules.  I’m only looking at live action Bat-films.  So no Mask of the Phantasm or Lego Batman.  Also, we’re starting with the ’89 Batman.  The Adam West movie was an offshoot of the TV show anyway.

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80’s Nerd Comedy Smackdown: Weird Science Vs. Real Genius


real genius vs weird science

This week, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of two comedy classics.  Well, that may be overstating things.  Two really good teen movies.  Um, two pretty decent cult movies from the 80’s?  Yeah, that sounds about right.  We’re celebrating the 30th anniversaries of John Hughes’ Weird Science and Martha Coolidge’s Real Genius.  Both movies were released within the first week of August, 1985 and both had at least some nominal connection to science.

Thirty years ago, these nerd comedies battled for supremacy.  Since then,the battle to be the best-loved cult movie for people who were shy kids during the Reagan era has raged on.  Today, after more than three decades of debate, we will pick a winner once and for all.  Or at least until the 40th anniversary.

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Movies of 1985 Bracket Game: Real Genius Vs. Weird Science


real genius vs weird science

With the start of a new year, there’s a whole new slate of movies to look forward to.  Hollywood is hoping 2015 will be a better year at the movies than 2014 was.  But how will the movies of the new year stack up against the movies from 30 years ago.  1985 gave us some classic movies and its share of forgettable ones.  In this month’s bracket game we’re going back in time to 1985 to pick our favorites from 30 years ago!

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Val Kilmer Gallery

Noah: Review


Noah

Noah has long been a passion project for auteur Darren Aronofsky. It looked unlikely the big budget spectacle would ever be backed by a studio given the director’s artistic intentions and limited appeal. However, after a $330 million BO take for Black Swan, someone decided that it was worth the risk, especially given the success of more christian-centric films over the last few years. Aronofsky proved ill-suited to the studio system with fights over final cuts, disclaimers, budget issues, and marketing problems plaguing the film before it ever hit theaters.

I’m a big fan of DA, and was of the opinion that he’d never made a bad film. His films are incredibly emotional, singularly shot, and usually marked with a fervor. Black Swan was remarkable as an artist in search of unattainable perfection. The Wrestler was one of the saddest films you will ever see. The Fountain was a work of vision and a testament to what you want to say more than making sure it’s understood. Requiem hurts. Pi is insane. What then is Noah?

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10 Actors You Won’t Believe Have Never Been Nominated for an Oscar


leo dicaprio oscar gif

With the Oscars now (thankfully) behind us we can look back and criticize other Oscars. While the entire internet is up in arms over Leo DiCaprio having never won, I’m going to make the case that being nominated several times is plenty of honor (last years long overdue recognition of Gary Oldman robbed me of #1 most disrespected).

Yes, winning is better, but at least you’ve been recognized as one of the best. Unlike the unfortunate actors I’m about to cover. The majority of them you probably would assume they’ve won or at least been nominated, however, for some strange reason, despite an impressive performances, star power, and overall body of work, they’ve never gotten the recognition they deserve. Let’s get snubby, shall we?

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What Might Have Been: Val Kilmer


Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer

Actors careers are shaped by choices.  Their performances are made up of small choices; how a character should move, what they should sound like, how they should react.  Then there are the big choices like what roles to take and who to work with.  When an actor commits to a movie, they are dedicating a chunk of their lives to preparing for the role, filming the movie and then doing the promotion circuit.  For a lead actor, each movie can be a year-long commitment.  For an actor who is in demand, this can lead to some tough choices which will ultimately shape the course of their career.

As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.”  Sometimes, an actor’s choices look foolish in retrospect.  Other times, it seems like they dodged a bullet.  Either way, movie fans love looking back and wondering what might have been.

The first subject of this new series could only be one man:  Val Kilmer.

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Hollywood Throwdown


hollywood throwdown

Hollywood has a head-scratching habit of turning out two movies within a few months of each other, that are basically the exact same film. So not only do we get sequels, prequels, sidequels, reboots, remakes, and adaptations we get White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen practically back to back, because obviously if we liked something once, we want the leftovers next month. And unfortunately that’s how it usually goes, one film becomes the dish, and the other is scrapped by audiences. Studios seem to go head to head, in a pissing contest to prove that their bland actioner is vastly superior to the same thing being developed at the same time. So let’s run through some notable ones and see how it shakes out.

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