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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Hardy’

Last week saw John Boyega receive the BAFTA Rising Star Award.  His future looks pretty bright thanks to a little sci-fi franchise that he has a part in.  The other nominees Taron Egerton, Dakota Johnson, Brie Larson (BAFTA winner and Oscar favourite) and Bel Powley all appear to have busy diaries for the next few years too.  But what happened to the previous rising stars?  Are the now shining stars or did they fade into obscurity? I think you will agree most of them are doing okay:John Boyega

2006: James McAvoy: Jovial star of the hugely successful X-Men franchise.  Nominated for two further  BAFTA’s: Best Supporting Actor for  The Last King of Scotland and  Best Actor Atonement. (other 2006 nominees: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gael García Bernal, Rachel McAdams, Michelle Williams)James McAvoy

2007: Eva Green: She doesn’t appear in many films, her choices are always interesting and she is usually brilliant in them if not as high profile as her earlier films The Dreamers and Casino Royale.  Last year she appeared in The Salvation that made my top ten of the year.  Her best recent work has come on TV in Penny Dreadful. (other 2007 nominees: Emily Blunt, Naomie Harris, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw)Eva Green

2008: Shia LaBeouf: Went from a promising actor to a bit of a joke.  He is beginning to show more promise in with strong performances in: Fury, Nymphomaniac and The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.  He is yet to revive any other significant nominations. (other 2008 nominees: Sienna Miller, Ellen Page, Sam Riley, Tang Wei)Shia LaBeouf

2009: Noel Clarke: While he hasn’t had the hits some of the other actors have had, he has tuned into a one man British film industry working as an Actor, Producer, Writer and Director.  No other significant nominations to date, but he is currently working on Brotherhood, the final instalment in the “hood” trilogy. (other 2009 nominations: Michael Cera, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Toby Kebbell)Noel Clarke

2010: Kristen Stewart: A hugely underrated actress who is struggling to shed the baggage of Twiglight with some audiences.  She was excellent in Still Alice.  She is yet to receive any other significant nominations and can consider herself extremely unlucky not to be nominated for supporting actress for Clouds of Sils Maria. (other nominees from 2010: Jesse Eisenberg, Nicholas Hoult, Carey Mulligan, Tahar Rahim)Kristen Stewart

2011: Tom Hardy: Versatile and likeable actor.  Star of my favourite movie of last yearMad Max: Fury Road.  Oscar Nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Revenant this year. (other 2011 nominees: Gemma Arterton, Andrew Garfield, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Stone)Tom Hardy

2012: Adam Deacon: Surprise winner, his most significant role since wining was in the TV series Babylon.  No other significant nominations. (other 2012 nominations: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chris O’Dowd, Eddie Redmayne)Adam Deacon

2013: Juno Temple: First came to attention in Atonement six years before the rising star award.  She has continued to dazzle in supporting roles in big films and larger roles in smaller films.  I have heard good reports but am yet to see her in the TV show Vinyl.  Yet to revive any other significant nominations. (other 2013 nominations: Elizabeth Olsen, Andrea Riseborough, Suraj Sharma, Alicia Vikander)Juno Temple

2014: Will Poulter: Like Juno Temple it took a long time for this nomination after his memorable debute in Son of Rambow seven years before.  Since then he has impressed in Wild Bill and particularly this years The Revenant.  The Maze Runner wasn’t great but he was the best thing in it.  Yet to revive any other significant nominations. (other 2014 nominations: Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Léa Seydoux)

2015: Jack O’Connell: After five films being released in the year leading up to his rising star award we haven’t seen much of him since.  He has three films in the can including Money Monster directed by Jodie Foster.  He is also set to appear in Terry Gilliam’s long awaited second attempt to film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Yet to revive any other significant nominations. (other 2015 nominations: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley)Jack O'Connell

 

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After posting my choice for the BAFTA rising star award there have been a few comments suggesting other nominees  deserve to win.  While I stand by my choice of Jack O’Connell I actually believe all the nominees are deserving to demonstrate this I thought I would run through the winners and losers from previous years. 

2006

Winner: James McAvoy

Other Nominees: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gael García Bernal, Rachel McAdams, Michelle Williams

2006

2007

Winner: Eva Green

Other Nominees: Emily Blunt, Naomie Harris, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw2007

2008

Winner: Shia LaBeouf

Other Nominees: Sienna Miller, Ellen Page, Sam Riley, Tang Wei2008

2009

Winner: Noel Clarke

Other Nominees: Michael Cera, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Toby Kebbell2009

2010

Winner: Kristen Stewart

Other Nominees: Jesse Eisenberg, Nicholas Hoult, Carey Mulligan, Tahar Rahim2010

2011

Winner: Tom Hardy

Other Nominees: Gemma Arterton, Andrew Garfield, Aaron Johnson, Emma Stone2011

2012

Winner: Adam Deacon

Other Nominees: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chris O’Dowd, Eddie Redmayne2012

2013

Winner: Juno Temple

Other Nominees: Elizabeth Olsen, Andrea Riseborough, Suraj Sharma, Alicia Vikander2013

2014

Winner: Will Poulter

Other Nominees: Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Léa Seydoux2014

 

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As previously mentioned, a new Batman movie is inevitable but how will it live up to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight vision of Batman, the answer make it very different. One option is to follow the silly or the camp versions that went before it, but I have a different idea. Until I started researching a article a couple of months ago I didn’t know that there was a Batman serial made in 1943. Set at the time it was made during World War II “The Batman” had become a government agent and was pitted against Japanese agent Dr. Daka. Are you starting to see where I am coming from? Firstly a little background: Batman’s first appearance was in May 1939 in The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, published in Detective Comics #27. Six months later his origin (variations of which have been retold many times since) and motivation were revealed. He received his own solo title in 1940 and Robin, Catwoman and The Joker were all introduced.

Like all good stories Batman could exist in any era, the 40’s set Captain America and the 60’s set X-Men: First Class have proved that setting a comic book movie in the past has proved that it can work. Set in the mid 30’s in a Gotham City full of gangsters rich from profits made during prohibition. Falling somewhere between a noir detective thriller and an action adventure it will give a great chance to reinvent Batman. This isn’t as strange as it sounds, not only was Batman created in the 30’s but it’s original style was inspired by pulp novels of the time. I would probably avoid World War II, that would probably stray too far into Captain America territory. Rather than an actual reboot from day one this new Batman should jump straight into the story as an established character with a little exposition as we go along, we all know enough about the characters mythology now to negate the need for an origin story.

The key to a movie like this is getting the right director, given what he did with The Rocketeer (1991) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Joe Johnston could be the man for the job. I loved Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009) but given the fact he is currently making the Superman movie Man of Steel, it is unlikely he would make a Batman movie. Then there is my go to director for action with a little depth, Kathryn Bigelow. I would love to see a Quentin Tarantino Batman movie, but not this one. But all these would be a second choice at best, the next Batman movie should be the one who missed out when Nolan made Batman Begins, Darren Aronofsky. I would expect Aronofsky’s Batman to b darker even than Nolan’s, pushing the boundaries of right and wrong and how far a Batman should go in his fight against crime. Next we need a credible Batman, there are two options, a complete unknown or a huge star. Of the stars a few ideas that have been kicking around that I like are: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbinder (who could probably play any part he likes) and Jake Gyllenhaal. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy could also do a good job but their presence in the Nolan movies probably negates this.

I don’t see this movie ever being made, for one simple reason, money. A 1930’s set movie won’t fit with the inevitable Justice League movie without a Superman movie set in the same era. Whatever happens a suitable gap should be left before the franchise is rebooted, the eight years between Batman & Robin and Batman Begins should be a minimum, however I don’t see them waiting that long again because of money! Christopher Nolan has turned Batman into Time/Warner’s most bankable commodity.

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The Dark Knight Rises may turn out to be both the biggest and the best film of the year. Every movie fan with a virtual soapbox to stand on will review it in one way or another, I may do so myself some time in the future, but for now I will not. Instead I have decided to do something different. I am looking at the key players in the movie and picking out my favourite of their movies or performances excluding The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Christopher Nolan: The modern interpretation of the term masterpiece refers a pierce of art (in any medium) that is receives high critical praise and is often considered the pinnacle of the artists career. But the original, true meaning is very different. During the old European guild system, an apprentice wishing to graduate from a guild and become a master craftsman or member of their guild would have to produce a Masterpiece. If successful, the piece would be retained by the master or the guild. Using this theory, Following (1998) is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. An ultra low budget mystery, crime, thriller with no star names. This led to him making Memento (2000), a simple revenge, thriller that is elevated to a superior mystery by the ingenious idea of telling the story backwards. Using the same criteria, it could be argued that Following was a practice run and Memento is the true masterpiece. Taken on its own merits Insomnia (2002) is a great movie, it just isn’t as good as the Norwegian original. It is a worthy and justified remake that is sympathetic to the story of the original but has its own individual touches. You know how movies come in two’s, this year there are two Snow White movies, a few years ago there were to giant asteroid movies, 2006 was the year of the Victorian stage magicians. Neil Burger’s The Illusionist was good, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige was much better. Legend has it that after The Dark Knight took a billion dollars Warner Bros let Nolan make any movie he liked. What he came up with was Inception (2010) a little art house movie disguised as a big budget studio blockbuster. Inception may well be his best (non Batman) film, but for introducing me and most of the rest of the world to his work I am declaring Memento to be both his masterpiece and finest hour for Christopher Nolan.

Wally Pfister: Cinematographer/Director of Photography Wally Pfister started out as a cameraman for a Washington news service before being given his first break by Robert Altman. He then enrolled in American Film Institute where a film he worked on was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Like so many great filmmakers, he received his first break as a Cinematographer from Roger Corman. Most of his notable works have been on Christopher Nolan films, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight finally winning for the movie that truly is his finest hour, Inception.

Christian Bale: Where do you start with Christian Bale? A child star in Empire of the Sun who found real fame in his late twenties. Noted for his extreme physical transformations for the movies The Machinist and Rescue Dawn, in I’m Not There, it is a tossup between him and Cate Blanchett as to who is the best “Dylan”. In 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige, The Fighter, Public Enemies and Terminator Salvation he gives more subtle and low key performances than his co stars, it is therefore a surprise that his finest hour is probably his most showy and over the top performance, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

Anne Hathaway: Many people know Anne Hathaway from her film début The Princess Diaries and can’t see beyond that. I first saw her in Havoc or Brokeback Mountain (saw them both around the same time) where despite all the praise going to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal I thought the best performances came her and Michelle Williams. I was impressed enough to go and see The Devil Wears Prada and enjoyed it, but her finest hour is Rachel Getting Married. A family drama about a young woman who is released from rehab to attend her sisters wedding. A truly an amazing performance, her character is ultimately a miserable, selfish, narcissistic bitch but she also comes across as vulnerable, funny and sometimes even likable. 

Tom Hardy: I have seen many movies featuring Hardy and remember a great buzz about him around the time of Star Trek: Nemesis, but to be honest I really didn’t take notice until Bronson. Since then he has been brilliant in everything I have seen him in. as for his finest hour, it could easily be Warrior where his performance is monumental or Inception where he offers some great comic relief within an ensemble, but it has to be Bronson. 

Gary Oldman: How do you pick the finest hour from the thirty year career of an actor as talented as Oldman? Far more varied than you would think Oldman is at his best when he is wild and out of control, look back at Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, Stansfield in Leon and Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. That is why it may come as a surprise that his best performance may well be his most low key and economical performance, George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. 

Michael Caine: Gary Olman’s career may be long but Michael Caine has been around for ever, certainly since before I was born. Many of his most notable performances came in the mid/late 60’s and early 70’s and include: Alfie, Sleuth, Zulu, Get Carter and The Ipcress File. He reinvented himself in more comic roles in the 80’s such as: Educating Rita, Without a Clue and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Outside Christopher Nolan movies, the pick of his 21st century movies are The Quiet American, Children of Men and Harry Brown, but for his finest hour, you need to go back to the 60’s for his iconic performance as Charlie Croker in The Italian Job.

Morgan Freeman: Freeman found fame relatively late in life. In his early fifties and after thirty years in the business, in a two year period he appeared in Driving Miss Daisy, Glory, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Bonfire of the Vanities. He makes a lot of movies, therefore there is a certain amount of crap in there too, but the highlights are very high, the include: Unforgiven, Se7en and Million Dollar Baby. His finest hour is probably The Shawshank Redemption. 

Marion Cotillard: A captivating actress who has been brilliant in every film I have ever seen her in. For many people she if best known for her Oscar winning portrayal of Edith Piaf in La vie en rose. Others will know her from her English language movies: Public Enemies, A Good Year, Big Fish and Nine. She was also memorable in Midnight in Paris and Inception. Although deep down I know her finest hour was as Edith Piaf in La vie en rose, I still go back to where I first saw her, Lilly, the long suffering but high maintenance girlfriend in Taxi (and its first two sequels).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: The former child actor found fame as a teenager in the TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun. his most notable movie appearances from this time is probably 10 Things I Hate About You. He went on to appear in: Havoc (along side future Dark Knight Rises co-star Anne Hathaway) and earned acclaim in Mysterious Skin Stop-Loss and The Lookout. In recent years he has impressed in 500 Days of Summer, 50/50 and Inception, but his finest hour is still the high school noir Brick. 

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In the twenty plus years that Mad Max 4 has spent in Development Hell George Miller has never given up. Mad Max 4: Fury Road as it had become known as by that time was set to go into production two years ago in Broken Hill, New South Wales, the setting for the original movies. The location was chosen ahead of the other option, South Africa thanks to government tax breaks in Australia. Unfortunately heavy rain delayed the shoot for several months then caused the desolate desert landscape into a lush green flower filled garden making it aesthetically unsuitable. Production has since started in Namibia. Based on the locations used in Richard Stanley’s B movie masterpiece Dust Devil I think this should be a suitable alternative. Rumours suggest the film will be set a few years after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome telling the story of what happened to Max after he helped the kids escape. It appears Tom Hardy will be taking over from Mel Gibson as the eponymous antihero Max Rockatansky. There have been a couple of interesting set reports one involves the addition to the cast of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, best know as Megan Fox’s replacement in Transformers 3. The other involves hair, it appears while Hardy has been growing a bushy beard, Charlize Theron has had her head shaved for the part.

As much as I love the franchise so far and am looking forward to seeing what Miller will do with the story, I am not convinced there should be another film following Thunderdome. It was the weakest of the trilogy and there was a sense that they had run out of ideas and decided to increase scope and scale to make up for it. I would rather see something more along the lines of a reboot. There are two ways to do it; the first would be set a few years from now and not when the original film was set. This would allow the financial crisis and oil related wars of recent years to be used as a background to the collapse of society as we know it. The other would be set around the same time as the original movie, possibly even in the time between the first two movies. The twist and the way to shoehorn the movie into the continuity is that the movie would be set in a different part of Australia. It would tell the story of a different group of MFP cops and different gangs. As well as aiding the continuity it also avoids the pitfall of expecting a new actor to live up to Mel Gibson’s Max.

The direct sequel they have planned or either one of these reboot ideas would require a new story to avoid just rehashing what has gone before. It would depend greatly on which idea was taken up as to what direction the story would take; one ting that is important is to manage the scale and the scope of the idea. The reason Mad Max works so well is the intimate nature of the story, it is a revenge story about a lone man pushed over the edge, not by the crumbling society itself but by the actions of men within that society. In the original movie Max is part of a group, as he becomes a vigilante, he isolates himself from society, from the group. Throughout the next two movies becoming reintegrated with societies but always ends up alone. As such Max is a walking metaphor for the breakdown and possible renaissance of society. This is a theme that that any new movie should incorporate.

A little like a Ridley Scott movie within the Alien universe, whatever they come up with, I will always be up for a George Miller directed Mad Max movie.

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There are some actors and actresses who are so good you look forward to seeing them in a movie even if you know nothing about the film itself. This in itself isn’t unusual but for me it applies to four actors who just a few years ago I had no idea who they were.

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is one who really snuck up on me, having made her name on Saturday Night Live (2005-2011) that I don’t watch (not sure if its on in the UK), the first time I saw her in a movie was a supporting role in Adventure land (2009) where along with he onscreen husband Bill Hader steels the show. Whip It (2009) again saw her take a supporting but memorable role. Her two movies this year Paul (2011) and Bridesmaids (2011) have seen her excel in large roles.

Vera Farmiga

With a film and TV career dating back to 1997 I first took notice of Vera Farmiga when I saw The Departed (2006) then kind of forgot her until Up in the Air (2009), were she shone alongside George Clooney and received a much deserved Academy Award nomination. In the last twelve months she has appeared in Henry’s Crime (2010) and Source Code (2011).

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is an interesting inclusion on the list as I have seen some of his earliest screen roles including: The TV mini series Band of Brothers (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). More recently he was in Layer Cake (2004) and Rock Rolla (2008), despite these high profile appearances I didn’t really notice him until Bronson (2008), this was followed by a scene stealing performance in Inception (2010). Future projects include :Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), Mad Max: Fury Road (2012) and the big one, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender’s early résumé also includes Band of Brothers (2001) he followed this with numerous TV roles including the British supernatural show Hex (2004-2005). Following 300 (2006) you can’t get away from him with Eden Lake (2008), Hunger (2008), Fish Tank (2009), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Centurion (2010) and most recently X-Men: First Class (2011). Future films include yet another adaptation of Jane Eyre and Ridley Scott’s new Alien movie Prometheus (2012). He is also my top tip for a future James Bond.

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