In this Moment In History article we will give a list of what we feel to be some of the best historical films, not only for their educational value, but also due to their ability to portray the raw emotional power of the moment.
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Oscar dreams dashed for Quebec director Xavier Dolan
Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan's acclaimed feature Mommy has not made the cut for this year's Oscar race, despite receiving a 13-minute standing ovation at Cannes (image courtesy Reuters)
Xavier Dolan's Mommy, Canada's contender for Oscar glory in the best foreign language film category, has been knocked out of the competition for the 87th Academy Awards.
On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its shortlist of nine films that will advance to the next round of voting and Dolan's drama was not on it.
Eighty-three films had originally been in the running.
The film about a mother struggling with a violent teenage son has won such critical acclaim that Oscar winning actresses Jessica Chastain and Susan Sarandon have reportedly signed on for his next movie.
But Dolan's winning streak seemed to hit a speed bump earlier this month when he failed to earn a nomination for the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards.
After the news of the Oscars snub broke, the typically talkative Dolan seemed to react with the single worded tweet, "Um.."
Mark Wahlberg confirms he'll star in more 'Transformers' movies
Mark Wahlberg will be back for 2 more 'Transformers' (image courtesy Getty)
The actor made his debut as single father and struggling inventor Cade Yeager in this year's Tranformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in the franchise based on the toys created by Hasbro and Tomy.
The typically high octane adventure, in which Wahlberg starred alongside Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Jack Reynor, became another big hit for director Michael Bay and is currently the only film released in 2014 to have grossed over $1 billion (£640 million) at cinemas globally.
Asked by MTV if he'll back for another outing as Cade Yeager, Wahlberg said: "Yeah, I committed to doing a couple more… you know I can't speak for Mr. Bay, but something tells me we’ll be on the set soon."
The fifth Transformers film is set for release at some point in 2016 and Bay, who has directed all four films in the series to date, has previously said he won't be returning to sit behind the camera.
Jeff Bridges, left, and John Goodman in "The Big Lebowski." (image courtesy Gramercy Pictures)
By Susan King
Steven Spielberg's 1998 World War II epic, "Saving Private Ryan," Joel and Ethan Coen's cult comedy "The Big Lebowski" and the 1976 drama "Please Don't Bury Me Alive!" - considered by historians to be the first Chicano feature film - are among the 25 titles added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The selections are to be announced Wednesday by the librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, who recognizes the pictures as "cultural, historical or aesthetic cinematic treasures."
"The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America's film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant," read a statement from Billington. "By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history."
Under the National Film Preservation Act, the librarian of Congress chooses films that are at least 10 years old. The Library of Congress' Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Virginia will ensure that each film is preserved, whether through the center's preservation program or through collaborations with other archives, movie studios and independent filmmakers.
The 2014 selections bring the number of films in the registry to 650.
Click the Continue Reading at link to see the list of entries into the National Film Registry.
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.' (image courtesy MGM / Warner)
by Claudia Puig
The final installment of the Hobbit trilogy is the best, featuring more spectacular action scenes as well as the series' most emotionally resonant moments.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (*** out of four; rated PG-13; opens Wednesday nationwide) could have been a half-hour shorter, perhaps by jettisoning an uneventful and odd scene between wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), as well as a confounding ghostly battle involving elf queen Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee).
But, the pacing of other portions of the film is right on point.
Though the two previous Hobbit movies have not measured up to the grandeur of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (to which these tales serve as prequels), this last chapter is almost on par with the Rings film.
Just as the final Rings film, The Return of the King, was the best of that threesome, the final Hobbit follows suit. Frustratingly, director Peter Jackson continues to indulge his love for multiple endings. Mostly, however, it's a richly satisfying finale to Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels.
We know their faces. We recognize their voices. We do not always know their names. They are the supporting actors and actresses of Hollywood movies. It is time to celebrate them.
This popped into my brain because of a cheeky tweet sent out by one of the best - Liverpool’s own Jason Isaacs. He is familiar as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. I took special note of him in my review of Brad Pitt's World War II thriller, Fury. As a result, Isaacs tweeted: "This guy is clearly a genius" while he posted my Fury review.
Of course, it did not actually take genius to see what a singular impact Isaacs makes in Fury as Cpt. Waggoner. He is the American military man who sends Pitt and his tank crew on their fateful missions. In just a few scenes, Isaacs commands the screen, not just the Sherman tanks he is deploying. His gravitas, depth of character and energy makes David Ayer's film even more realistic. In turn, that gives us a greater stake in what happens to Pitt and his crew. There are no weak links. The acting throughout is superb.
In alphabetical order, here are 10 others of Jason Isaacs' ilk. Some of them are famous, some of them are just talented, and all are critical to the success of the 2014 films they are in:
Click the Continue Reading at link to go to the original article and see Bruce Kirkland's list of 2014's great supporting actors.
Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, California (image courtesy AP)
Sony Pictures has abandoned film shoots because hackers have crippled its computer network, The Times of London reported Saturday.
The Times, quoting “a source,” said agencies filming for Sony had cancelled shoots because the hacking had left it unable to process payments.
Sony did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
A hacking collective [calling] itself the Guardians of Peace began the attack on Sony late last month, leaking four films and thousands of documents and wreaking havoc on the studio’s network, along with a huge dose of embarrassment.
Emails between top producers and executives belittling a number of major stars and projects, and even making racist jokes about President Barack Obama were leaked earlier this week.
In one email exchange, Sony co-chairperson Amy Pascal -- a prominent Democratic party donor and Obama supporter -- asked movie producer Scott Rudin ahead of a fundraiser what she should ask the President "at this stupid Jeffrey (Katzenberg) breakfast," to which Rudin quipped "would he like to finance some movies."
"I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" Pascal responded, Rudin then retorted: "12 Years."
Cast members of the next Bond Film 'Spectre' [from left Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux, Daniel Craig, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz] (image courtesy Rex)
by Alex Ritman
Emails released during a recent hack on Sony Pictures have revealed that the upcoming 24th James Bond film, Spectre, could cost more than $300 million and that MGM Studios has been looking to trim costs. Sony will be distributing the film.
According to documents seen by CNN, MGM president Jonathan Glickman sent an internal memo in November stating that the budget for the film "sits in the mid $300Ms," significantly higher than that of Skyfall, estimated to have cost $210 million before tax breaks.
"We recognize that this movie needs to build on the past few films - and there are expectations we must meet for the audience. Still, we must find further cuts. This is not about 'nickel and diming' the production." Glickman adds.
The article outlines several suggestions mentioned by Glickman to help lower expenditure, including shooting a nighttime scene in London instead of Rome, using fewer carriages for a fight scene on a train, scrapping rain in the finale to cut effects cost and maximizing a financial incentive in Mexico by showing "the more modern aspects" of the country.
Al Pacino Says He's Discussed Guardians of the Galaxy with Marvel
Al Pacino at TIFF earlier this year (image courtesy Getty)
by Megan Gibson
Al Pacino has confirmed that he's met with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.
The 74-year-old Oscar-winning actor was a guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast on Monday where he teased a possible role in an upcoming film from the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers studio.
"I've met with the Marvel guy," said Pacino, referring to the studio’s president Feige. "It's a marvel how things happen." He continued,"I would imagine that either there's something he feels is right for me -" before he was interrupted by a ringing phone. He then joked that the call was from the studio telling him to quit talking.
He said that he watched Guardians of the Galaxy with his children. "It was just inventive, funny, strong, the production of it, the ingenuity of it," he said. "Why wouldn't I like a movie like that, appreciate a movie like that? I'm not necessarily going to be in it, but there’s value to it.”
Sony Leak Reveals Spider-Man / Marvel Crossover Almost Happened!
Andrew Garfield looks bummed that he won't be in Captain America: Civil War (image courtesy Sony / MTV)
More top-secret movie information has been revealed in the wake of the Sony cyber-attack - this time about Spider-Man.
Emails sent between execs at Sony and Marvel reveal that the movie houses had considered teaming up for an animated Spider-Man comedy - and even having the web-slinger show up in 2016's Captain America: Civil War.
The emails were sent by Sony motion picture chief Amy Pascal, and included correspondences with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai and Disney CEO Bob Iger, according to The Wall Street Journal.
One of the messages, sent on 30 October from Sony Pictures president Doug Belgrad to Pascal, discussed a potential scenario that would see Marvel produce a new trilogy of Spider-Man movies while Sony "retains creative control, marketing and distribution".
In a separate email, Pascal tells a business partner that Marvel wanted to include Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. As comic-book fans will know, Spider-Man plays a key role in the 2006 comic book storyline Civil War.
George Lucas Hasn't Watched the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer—Find Out Why!
Director George Lucas hasn't rushed to his computer to see the trailer for the new 'Star Wars' (image courtesy Getty)
by Rebecca Macatee
Did you totally geek out of the new Star Wars trailer? Well, FYI, George Lucas did not.
The original jedi mastermind actually hasn't seen the preview of J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens (aka Episode VII), he recently revealed to Page Six.
"I don't know anything about [the teaser trailer]," Lucas said. "I haven't seen it yet."
Reason being? "Because it's not in the movie theater," he explained. "I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there."
Lucas, who directed the original Star Wars in 1977, also directed the last three movies: 2005's Revenge of the Sith (Episode III), 2002's Attack of the Clones (Episode II) and 2000's The Phantom Menace (Episode I). He's served as the executive producer of every Star Wars flick since - up until Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which he'll still be contributing to, albeit in a lesser role as a creative consultant.
Asked whether he was curious what Abrams' was doing with the project, Lucas told Page Six, "Not really."