Possible leads for Bourne Legacy


After joining this site smack dab in the middle of a two month internship followed by my final semester at college I have not had much time to make a post. Luckily for me things have slowed a bit and I have found time to do things other than study…like blog, as I’m about to do now.

I caught this bit of news on a few websites and I couldn’t help but voice my opinion on the matter, which has to do with the casting of the lead for “Bourne Legacy”, which is in essence a spin-off of the original Bourne trilogy. It is being directed by Tony Gilroy who previously directed Oscar nominated “Michael Clayton”, and the quirky rom-com-spy-thriller…thingy, “Duplicity”. However; he is most notably known by fans of the Bourne franchise for working on the screenplays of the first three.

Little is known about “Bourne Legacy” as far as the plot is concerned other than it takes place in the same universe, at roughly the same time (most likely following the events of Ultimatum), and is not a reboot/remake, will not contain Jason Bourne’s character, but his presence in the world will be known by characters within “Legacy”…hence why I consider this to basically just be a spin-off…just one not containing any previously known characters.

I’ve always been skeptical about “Bourne Legacy” and the closer and closer this project gets to actually being made the more and more I wish they would just not make another film tied into that universe, or wait for Greengrass and Damon to come back for a fourth. But this being Hollywood, where studios love to milk popular franchises dry, it is going to be made whether fans or non-fans like it or not. So, the best I can hope for is that they don’t totally mess it up.

I think what has many worried, including myself, is the actor who will be cast in the lead role. More recently speculation as to who the studio might go for has increased with many names being thrown around and at one point Shia LaBeouf’s name was mentioned and I had almost lost just about all faith that they could pull of anything comparable to the original trilogy. (I think it is pretty obvious that I’m not a fan of LaBeouf…) Luckily it seems that he will not test for the film. Within the last few days it seems that the list of possible actors has gotten shorter and below are four guys who the studio want for testing:

(Garrett Hedlund, Joel Edgerton, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans)

Personally, as a big fan of the first three, the only guy on that list that I can even remotely see playing a character similar to Bourne is Edgerton. He has an edge to him, and doesn’t have the “pretty boy” looks of the other three, a characteristic that I do not associate with Jason Bourne. Not to mention that from what I have seen from these four, Edgerton is the better actor, but of course that is just my opinion and I really haven’t seen enough from any of them to draw any strong conclusions.

Anyway, they will be testing for the role in the first week of April, not sure when we will get an official announcement as to who they pick but it is a decision I eagerly await. I’m trying to keep some faith in this project, hoping they keep the franchise alive long enough for possibly Damon and Greengrass to team up once again.

Personally, I would love for them to cast Edgar Ramirez who was phenomenal in Carlos, and continue the story with his character, who played Paz, a fellow spy tracking Bourne down in the third film where he got little screen time and just about zero lines. I think the best route to take with the story of “Bourne Legacy” would be to start up right after his interactions with Bourne’s character in Ultimatum and have him investigate a bit about the conspiracies below the surface, which eventually leads to him being chased down as he tries to figure it all out, focusing on what happened with Bourne and other Treadstone/Blackbriar agents. This way they could actually set up the return of Matt Damon as Bourne because of course it would all eventually lead back to him.

But who knows. Tony Gilroy is a competent director and great writer, so “Bourne Legacy” does have a chance, it is just that my love of the original Trilogy that has me worried. Still I’ll probably be there opening day…having watched the first three the night before.

What are your thoughts on the short list/”Bourne Legacy”? Who, out of the four, would you choose? Which actor would you choose who isn’t on that list?

Top 25 Films of 2010


I’ve been slacking off about getting this particular list down and posted, but with film news being quite slow outside of Oscar-related items I thought it was time to get my lazy ass to get this done. Some of the titles I’ll mention are favorite films of 2010 for me while others only made it onto the list not because I liked or even enjoyed them, but they were just well-executed and made.

A couple of the titles I’ve listed also made their premiere’s in their home country earlier than 2010, but it wasn’t until this past year that they were shown here in the U.S. thus it qualifies as a 2010 for me. For those who have seen the very final title on my list should know that this is one title that I definitely didn’t find entertaining at all, but found it to be as daring and as subversive as another film made decades before it which received similar negative reactions from many: Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo.

  1. Black Swan
  2. True Grit
  3. Inception
  4. Restrepo
  5. Winter’s Bone
  6. The Fighter
  7. The King’s Speech
  8. Kick-Ass
  9. The Last Exorcism
  10. Animal Kingdom
  11. Un prophète
  12. Lebanon
  13. Let Me In
  14. Despicable Me
  15. The Social Network
  16. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  17. Toy Story 3
  18. Waiting for Superman
  19. How To Train Your Dragon
  20. The Town
  21. Mesrine
  22. Mother
  23. Carlos
  24. Blue Valentine
  25. A Serbian Film

Who the Hell Are These People?


With the Golden Globe nominations set to be announced on Tuesday, I figured now would be a good time to recap which films and performances have already been honored by the various critics groups. 

One thing that I discovered as I researched this is that there are a lot of critics groups out there!   I don’t know who half these people are and most of them probably won’t have any bearing at all on who is actually nominated come Oscar time.  But since I’m a lover of trivia and lists, there you go.

The following films and performances were honored by either The National Board of Review, the D.C. Film Critics, the Boston Society of Film Critics, The New York Film Critics Online,The Los Angeles Film Critics, The Indiana Film Journalists, The Southeastern Film Critics, The New York Film Critics Circle, or the San Francisco Film Critics.

Best Picture:

The Social Network (All.  That’s right, it’s a clean sweep for an above average film.)

Best Director:

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (S.F)

Olivier Assayas for Carlos (LAFC)

David Fincher for The Social Network (BSFC, DC, NBR, NYFCC, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Christopher Nolan for Inception (IFJ)

Best Actor:

Jesse Eisenberg (BSFC, NBR)

Colin Firth for The King’s Speech (DC, LAFC, NYFCC, SEFC, S.F.)

James Franco for 127 Hours (IFJ, NYFCO)

Best Actress:

Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

Kim Hye-ja for Mother (LAFC)

Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone (DC)

Lesley Manville for Another Year (NBR)

Natalie Portman for Black Swan (BSFC, IFJ, NYFCO, SEFC)

Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine (S.F.)

Best Supporting Actor:

Niels Arestrup for A Prophet (LAFC)

Christian Bale for The Fighter (BSFC, DC, IFJ, NBR, NYFCO)

John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone (S.F.)

Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech (SEFC)

Best Supporting Actress:

Melissa Leo for The Fighter (DC, NYFCC, NYFCO)

Juliette Lewis for Conviction (BSFC)

Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (IFJ, SEFC)

Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (LAFC, NBR, S.F.)

Best Documentary:

Exit Through The Gift Shop (DC, IFJ, NYFCO)

The Inside Job (NYFCC, SEFC)

Last Train Home (LAFC)

Marwencol (BSFC)

The Tillman Story (S.F.)

Waiting For Superman (NBR)

Best Animated Feature:

How To Train Your Dragon (IFJ)

The Illusionist (NYFCC)

Toy Story 3 (BSFC, DC, LAFC, NBR, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Social Network (BSFC, DC, IFJ, LAFC, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Best Original Screenplay:

Inception (DC)

The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

The Kings Speech (SEFC, S.F.)

  

The New York Toadsuckers Have Spoken


As I mentioned in my last post, the New York Film Critics Circle voted on and announced their picks for the best films of the year today.  Looking over the winners, all I can say is — YAWN!

Best Film:
The Social Network

Best Director:
David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Screenplay:
The Kids Are All Right

Best Actress:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Best Actor:
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress:
Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actor:
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Best Cinematography:
Black Swan

Best Animated Film:
The Illusionist

Best Non-fiction Film:
Inside Job

Best Foreign Language Film:
Carlos

Best First Feature:
Animal Kingdom

Over on Awardsdaily.com, the response to the New York Critics was: “NO ONE  wrote a better screenplay than Aaron Sorkin this year.” 

(And yes, they specifically put that statement in bold print with NO ONE capitalized, just to make sure that the point came through.)

Really?  NO ONE?  It’s time to admit the truth — The Social Network has gone from being a movie to being a cult.  Apparently, even suggesting that any other movie might deserve an honor or two this year is an act of heresy.  Sorry, New York Film Critics.  Prepare yourself to be eaten by lions while the Sorkinites watch and cheer.

That said, the screenplay for The Kids Are All Right had all the depth of a sitcom.  And Mark Ruffalo’s supporting performance was good but nothing that couldn’t have been done by just about any other scruffy actor in Hollywood.  And while Annette Bening did a good job with her role, this is the year of Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Noomi Rapace in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Katie Jarvis in Fish Tank, and Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone.  This was a year in which so many actresses gave unique, unexpected performances in roles that redefined the stereotypical cinematic female lead.  Annette Bening was good but so many were great.

It’s also interesting to note that The Illusionist (which I haven’t seen and know very little about) was named best animated feature as opposed to the presumed favorite, Toy Story 3.  Just a few months ago, the general assumption seemed to be that Toy Story 3 would easily pick up a best picture nod but it seems like that storyline’s been forgotten in all the hype surrounding The Social Network.

The L.A. Film Critics Have Spoken


A whole lot of critics’ groups announced their picks for the best films and performances of the year today and the New York Film Critics are voting as I type.  I’m on lunch from work right now so a full list will have to wait until later tonight.  For now, I’m just going to share the choices made by the Los Angeles Film Critics.  The L.A. Critics are one of the big three as far as critics groups are concerned. 

As I’ve said before, I think professional film critics are overrated but I just love awards.  And, of course, all of these December awards tend to serve as a precursor for who and what will receive Oscar nominations next year.  At their best, these groups can remind Academy voters of films and performances that they might otherwise overlook.  Certainly, if Jacki Weaver receives a deserved nomination for Animal Kingdom, it’ll be largely due to organizations like the National Board of Review and the L.A. Film Critics.

Anyway, since my time is limited, I’m going to simply post the winners and then add a few comments on my own.

PICTURE:

  • “The Social Network”
  • Runner-up: “Carlos”

DIRECTOR:

  • Olivier Assayas, “Carlos,” and David Fincher, “The Social Network” (tie)

ACTOR:

  • Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
  • Runner-up: Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos”

ACTRESS:

  • Kim Hye-ja, “Mother”
  • Runner-up:  Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”

SUPPORTING ACTOR:

  • Niels Arestrup, “A Prophet”
  • Runner-up: Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

  • Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”
  • Runner-up: Olivia Williams, “The Ghost Writer”

SCREENPLAY:

  • Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
  • Runner-up: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

  • “Carlos”
  • Runner-up: “Mother”

ANIMATION:

  • “Toy Story 3″
  • Runner-up: “The Illusionist”

DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM:

  • “Last Train Home”
  • Runner-up: “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

  • Matthew Libatique, “Black Swan”
  • Runner-up: Roger Deakins, “True Grit”

MUSIC/SCORE:

  • Alexandre Desplat, “The Ghost Writer,” and  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network” (tie)

PRODUCTION DESIGN:

  • Guy Hendrix Dyas, “Inception”
  • Runner-up: Eve Stewart, “The King’s Speech”

NEW GENERATION:

  • Lena Dunham, “Tiny Furniture”

DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO:

  • “Film Socialism”

LEGACY OF CINEMA AWARDS:

  • Serge Bromberg, “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno,” and the F.W. Murnau Foundation and Fernando Pena for the restoration of “Metropolis”

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT:

  • Paul Mazursky

The main news here, I guess, is just how well foreign language films did in the voting.  I haven’t seen Carlos and seeing as how I’m basically in fly-over country, I doubt I’ll get a chance to see it before the Oscar nominations are announced.  I do have Mother on DVD and I’m going to watch it sometime before the start of the new year.  It’s also nice to see some attention being given to A Prophet.

Obviously, I’m disappointed not to see more love for Black Swan but I guess it’s to be expected as Black Swan is one of those films that people either love madly or hate with a passion.  I think that’s why The Social Network will win big at the Oscars this year.  It’s well-made and offensive only if you’re 1) female or 2) Mark Zuckerberg.