Tag Archives: Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Master: Already Getting Great Reivews

Click on the image below (or here) to read HuffPo’s summary of the reviews The Master is already receiving.

 

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What’s this? Paul Thomas Anderson remaking ‘Battlefield Earth’?

From HuffPo, which took it from somewhere else:

It’s not uncommon for a film to hit out at organized religion, but a long-gestating Paul Thomas Anderson script is ready to do the uncomfortable: take on, in metaphor, the Hollywood-centric Church of Scientology.

Deadline reports that Anderson’s proposed film, once under the working title, “The Master,” but now without a name, has had its worldwide distribution rights bought by the Weinstein Company following a multi-studio bidding war. It guarantees a global audience for the film, which will star Philip Seymour Hoffman as a man who creates a religion in 1952, and Joaquin Phoenix as his second in command.

The film, which begins shooting in June, is a long time coming; the script was finished in 2009 and then shelved before the recent movement. According to Variety, the first iteration centered on the relationship between The Master (Hoffman’s character) and Freddie (the lieutenant, to be played by Phoenix. “As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor,” the industry daily reported.

Whether this was originally part of the story or not, the new script has Hoffman as a shaken war veteran who creates the religion in the 50’s, which, according to Deadline, “catches on with other lost souls.”

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, served in the Navy in World War II, and following his post-war release from the hospital, founded the belief system in 1952.

The group has a fervent following in Hollywood, including stars such as Tom Cruise and Will Smith. Clearly, they won’t be a part of the film despite Anderson’s talents; he’s an Oscar-nominated writer/director, whose biggest hits include “Boogie Nights,” “Punch, Drunk, Love” and “There Will Be Blood.”

Is it just me or do you kind of wish PTA was making a remake of Battlefield Earth?


Top 10 of ’07

So yeah, we did have our own awards, or a “master list,” but here are my personal top 10 favorites from 2007:

10) Grindhouse/Hot Fuzz/Knocked Up

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The trifecta. Complete nerdom. Just for clarification, when I list Grindhouse I’m listing the double feature with fake trailers, missing reels, and all. That’s the Grindhouse I know and love. Knocked Up is the movie that got me to jump on the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen bandwagon, and Hot Fuzz completely lived up to my post-Shaun of the Dead expectations. Some of the most fun I had at the movies this year was watching these three. They all lived up to the hype.

9) Eastern Promises

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The 2nd film from the Cronenberg/Viggo duo. Some of the year’s most memorable scenes and my favorite Viggo performance yet. Cronenberg’s films are always strangely unique to him. It’s a shame he tends to be overlooked.

8 ) Persepolis

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The story and characters fully transcend the “simple” animation style. Not to bash the animation though, it’s probably one of the most creatively animated films I’ve seen. Reminiscent of Fantastic Planet and The Tripletts of Belleville. It gave Ratatouille a run for its money in my book.

7) Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

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Possibly the most overlooked film of 2007. No Oscar nominations, earned practically nothing at the box office, and completely disappeared in the midst of award season despite its great director and cast. I wouldn’t throw this one in the ranks of 12 Angry Men or Network, but director Sidney Lumet definitely proved he’s still got it, even at age 82.

6) Ratatouille

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It’s honestly my favorite pixar film yet. Also, according to rotten tomatoes, it was the best reviewed film of 2007.

5) Sweeney Todd

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The umpteenth collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is my favorite so far, which says quite a bit considering how much I love Ed Wood. The one and only thing that kept me from falling head over heels for Sweeney was the cut of my favorite song from the original play due to vocal restrictions. Otherwise, I’d say it’s just about perfect.

4) No Country for Old Men

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I’ve always been a huge fan of the Coen brothers and No Country might just be my favorite film of theirs behind The Big Lebowski, which will probably be my favorite Coen brothers film forever and ever.

3) Once

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Totally beautiful. One of my all-time favorite musicals. The songs are great, the story is touching, and it’s a musical that doesn’t go completely over-the-top with sets and costumes, for once. It’s so nice to see a low-budget musical blow away blockbusters like Dreamgirls and, in my opinion, the overrated Chicago.

2) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

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My favorite foreign film of ’07. If I was in charge of the Oscars, I would’ve given Julian Schnabel the award for Best Director. He truly deserved it.

1) There Will Be Blood

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Easily my pick for #1, it might be my favorite film of the past decade. It’s hard to think of any I like more. It’s worth mentioning that, like last year, my favorite film is hated by quite a lot of people, but I guess that’s what happens with something so unique. There is however, a consensus that Daniel Day-Lewis gives one of the greatest, most obsessive performances out there. “I drink your milkshake!” gets my vote for the best line of 2007.

 

Honorable Mentions (In no order):

La Vie En Rose, Zodiac, The Darjeeling Limited, Superbad, 3:10 to Yuma, Lust-Caution, Paris Je-Taime, Into the Wild, Atonement, & Stardust.

 


The First Annual Owl Pellets Film Awards

THE FIRST ANNUAL OWL PELLETS FILM AWARDS

And the winners are…

BEST MALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING)

Third Place: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s war)

Second Place: Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR (SUPPORTING)

Third Place: Kelly MacDonald (No Country for Old Men)

Second Place: Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Marketa Irglova (Once)

BEST USE OF MUSIC

Third Place: Sweeney Todd (Stephen Sondheim)

Second Place: Once (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: There Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)

BEST WRITER

Third Place: Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited)

Second Place: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

BEST MALE ACTOR

Third Place: Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd)

Second Place: Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

BEST FEMALE ACTOR

Third Place: Zoe Bell (Death Proof)

Second Place: Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Helena Bonham-Carter (Sweeney Todd)

BEST ENSEMBLE

Third Place: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei)

Second Place: Superbad (Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baren Cohen, Ed Sanders)

BEST DIRECTOR

Third Place: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Second Place: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd)

And The Owl Pellet goes to: Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

BEST FILM

Third Place: Sweeney Todd

Second Place: No Country for Old Men

And The Owl Pellet goes to: There Will Be Blood

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The Savages

I thought I’d write this first post as quickly and painlessly as possible. Here it goes…

Director: Tamara Jenkins, Producers: Fred Westheimer, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor.

This movie hasn’t been given enough publicity – at least from my perspective. Save for the sporadic movie posters one will see around most downtown areas, and in and around the movie theaters themselves (as well as my wall), this film seems to have been promoted very little… Which is a shame because the duo that is Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney is wonderful as the siblings Savage.

After the adult duo, Jon and Wendy, is confronted with the happenstance of their father no longer having a place to live, humorous but oddly silencing scenarios arise. Said situations darken the film to the extent that I was questioning my own reactions and wondering how I myself would handle any similar lifestyle-altering changes.

Both Hoffman and Linney, as the Savages, balance their own disconnected and emotional lives with an understated humor that is more surfacing in the staged living rooms and New England houses, as well as the siblings’ emotional life ruts, than in the film’s more obvious dialogue.

 

I found issue only with the fact that there wasn’t a lot of breathing room with the storyline, merely following it as it, for lack of a better comparison, flat lined between segments of smile-worthy life… But such is life, indeed.

Expectations exceeded. 8/10.


Charlie Wilson’s War

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After an incredibly disappointing fall of politically oriented films (The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs), Charlie Wilson’s War is a breath of fresh air, with the emphasis being placed of “fresh.”

Mike Nichols directs an original film (not that I should have been expecting much less) about a historical event – not exactly a simple task. The film accomplishes this by throwing you into rather unfamiliar territory – it’s a serious film about a serious subject: the US-backed Afghan resistance to Soviet invasion; but the movie possesses an odd humor accompanied by moments of pure slapstick, like when three Afghans first shoot down a Soviet helicopter. The pacing of the film is almost surreal in how original it feels.

Nichols’ spectacular directing finds company with its spectacular acting. Tom Hanks preforms one of his best roles (if you ask me) to date and get this: I think the same goes for Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Enough said? I thought so.

This film delivers.

9.5/10