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Upcoming Stars Worth Looking At

Some might share my predicament in having an email on AT&T, leading an instinctual curiosity of the often embarrassing articles courtesy of Yahoo.  One that caught my eye in particular was on the upcoming, breakout stars in film this year.  For those who aren’t aware, Yahoo don’t exactly do their homework for articles; what else can explain the inclusion of Rihanna on the aforementioned list?  But there were one or two worth mentioning, such as Noomi Rapace of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptations and Prometheus.  So this got me thinking: How about the stars who are on the rise, might make a real breakout and are actually promising?  Well, let’s waste little more time and get on with it!

Tom Hardy

Let’s get the obvious culprit out of the way: Bane himself.  For some (including myself), Tom Hardy has already made a bigger splash than what other actors do for their entire career.  Sure, he’s not quite a household name, but the man is gradually working his way up the (good) Hollywood ladder.  Even without the anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy would likely be on his way as an admirable star between staring in Warrior, Inception and the upcoming Depression-era film Lawless.  Though the British actor feels that his portrayal of Bane won’t make him a household name, I think it’ll at least open even more roles for him.  He’s already well on his way, and I can’t see his solid selections heading downhill any time soon.

Joel Edgerton

Okay, I might be giving a bit too much credit to Mr. Edgerton since most people don’t know him beyond co-staring with Hardy in Warrior.  But the man has shown talent and promise.  Some might not remember, but he played Owen Lars in two of the Star Wars prequels.  He’s also playing Tom Buchanan in the upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.  No, he might not hit it big this year, but there’s a chance he could prove to be a competent performer sometime in the future.

Tom Hiddleston

Hiddleston is already been making a bit of a name for himself despite the fact he’s only really known for being Loki.  2011 was a pretty big year him, including roles in Thor, Midnight in Paris and War Horse.  He’s also set to reprise his role as Loki in Thor 2 and is even signed up for three TV movies (the two-parter Henry IV and the title role in Henry V).  Right now most people just know him as the guy Hulk slammed around in a classic Avengers scene, but given his upcoming roster, chances are he might become one of the next go-to actors.

Michael Fassbender

Many people consider Michael Fassbender to be THE underrated star to keep an eye on.  Haywire may not have been the best of his recent selections, but between playing a young Magneto in X-Men: First Class, the lead role in Shame and, like the aforementioned Noomi Rapace, holding a role in Prometheus, the man is building some serious momentum.  Not just that, but he’s proven to be a great player in almost all of his films, earning the most praise for Shame.  Hopefully his lack of other films coming out this year won’t deter his rise.

Andrew Garfield

Among the younger-looking inclusions on this list, Andrew Garfield was, until recently, only known for playing Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network.  If people weren’t sympathizing with Eisenberg’s egocentric Zuckerberg, they were likely rooting for Garfield’s character.  And now he’s playing Peter Parker in the soon-to-be-released Spider-Man reboot, which has quickly dispelled much skepticism.  If the film manages to be a big hit (which looks very likely), then it’s guaranteed to open even more for the young, talented actor.

Cillian Murphy

When you see Cillian Murphy, you likely think of him as “that guy who’s been in half of Nolan’s recent films.”  And it’s true that, outside of playing Scarecrow and having a supporting role in Inception, there hasn’t been much to credit him with.  But this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a shot at being another potential player in the near future.  The upcoming film Red Lights holds some promise, which features Murphy alongside Sigourney Weaver.  It might not impact the box office, but there’s potential for studios to take notice.  Also, if it means anything, Nolan actually thought of casting Murphy as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins before being handed to Christian Bale.  If those two were in the running, then it has to be a good sign!

Jeremy Renner

It’s really surprising how Jeremy Renner still hasn’t become a household name, given his filmography and (well deserved) accolades.  He’s received two Oscar nominations, has proven to be incredible versatile between roles in The Town, The Hurt Locker and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  He’s even taking Damon’s place in the fourth, upcoming Bourne film.  The man is very talented and is just barely into his 30’s; so why don’t more people seem to know about him?  For those who might have looked this actor over, I suggest watching the movies he’s in again and taking note: Renner has a lot of promise and is someone I think more directors would be wise in considering.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Of all the listed actors, this is the one that’s closest to being widely recognized.  It seems that right when 50/50 hit theaters, everyone was all ablaze about Joseph Gordon-Levitt, claiming him the next truly big actor to look out for.  Most of us know by now that he’ll be playing young cop John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises as well as a lead role in Looper.  But why stop there?  We’ll also be seeing him in the upcoming action/thriller Premium Rush and the much-anticipated Lincoln as Robert Todd Lincoln.  Sounds like our boy has his resume booked and ready for just about anything.

Carey Mulligan

What?  You thought I was going to leave the female demographic unrecognized?  Actresses like Carey Mulligan are further solidifying themselves in a crowded field, but it’s a good thing they’re around for us to enjoy.  Sure, Carey might have been part of a less-than solid piece in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, but with other works such as Drive, Brothers, Shame and Public Enemies, I think we can let one stinker slide.  For some reason I associate her with Michelle Williams (another young and promising actress), even though they hardly look alike.  Either way, we’re talking great talent at a young age, and things should be going uphill for Carey.

Anna Kendrick

So Carey Mulligan has the lackluster Wall Street sequel to potentially complain about.  Anna Kendrick, on the other hand, has been involved in each Twilight film to date.  How can someone featured in those films make this list?  Much like Carey, it’s her good selections and roles that got her on this list.  Between Up in the Air, an earnest performance in 50/50 and a small but fun role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, she’s certainly not one to simply shrug aside (like many of us foolishly did when the latter came out).  Those combined with roles in ParaNorman, The Company You Keep and the seemingly relevant 2013 film Get a Job are enough proof to convince me that she’s more than just a sweet, pretty face.

Marion Cotillard

Most of us probably recognized Marion as Cobb’s wife from Inception.  Yet what many probably don’t realize is that she won an Oscar three years earlier for the French film La vie en rose.  Some have already noted her very briefly as Miranda Tate in The Dark Knight Rises as well.  Similar to other French actress Audrey Tautou of Amelie, Marion might not become an actress of Hollywood fame (any time soon), but this shouldn’t deter people from keeping their eyes peeled for whatever else either star might be in.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Film, Movies

 

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2012: The Movies You DON’T Want to See

It’s funny that we live in a financially downturned economy when we’ve got movies like Avatar setting box office records.  I suppose it’s merely a reminder that, even when poverty-stricken, people still have the income to feed companies millions for sequels, remakes, spin-offs and adaptations all at once.  What’s amusing about this is that we’re so quick to pay for stuff we already have, often previously presented in a superior way nonetheless.

Be that as it may, with another summer on the horizon we have a splurge of movies coming out which some will be puzzled to decide between.  A few people even go to theaters without a single clue as to what’s showing and ask those in-line “what looks good?”  To that I wonder: We always ask and look at what’s worth spending half a new DVD release to see once, but what about upcoming releases that aren’t even worth watching a trailer for?  Summertime is easy time for film companies to draw in audiences again and again; so to help you know which ones are, without doubt, not worth wasting time or money on, here are some of 2012’s films that you do NOT want to see.

The Lucky One

The dog food totally isn’t a metaphor for Mr. Sparks’ novels.

If there’s any medium you can find several of the same story already done in, it’s books.  Some authors distinguish themselves with actual effort and, dare I say, variety from book to book.  Nicholas Sparks, on the other hand, shows about as much distinction between his books as one french fry from another at McDonald’s.  But wait, this adaptation of The Lucky One has a returning soldier from war; oh Nick, you’re so relevant and resonating with the times!  But wait, it’s another love story…with two leads who, if the trailer is any indication, make Keanu Reeves look melodramatic in the Matrix sequels.  I could find more depth in a teaspoon of water.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting

What?  You think this is fun?

Yes, nothing says fun and comedic gold quite like a film centered around pregnancy and its effects on several people.  If that alone isn’t enough, this movie is based on a pregnancy guide no less; this is how stripped of good ideas Hollywood’s become.  The trailer certainly isn’t doing any favors for this movie either, since it only looks like Grown Ups, Knocked Up, Hall Pass and half a billion other forgettable romantic comedies tossed into a mold-spewing blender.  We have decades upon decades of trite movies like this piled up already, it’d be a better investment to give Doug Walker $10 for each of his 20-minute Nostalgia Critic videos–at they’re entertaining.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

We need to get away from the studios; I hear they’re planning to toss us in Burma next!

Just like Ice Age, the people behind Madagascar seem intent on driving what was an earnest animated film further into forced franchise fodder.  Being a film about animals, kids are bound to beg their parents to go see it like they would for a toy at Wal-Mart.  As far as the films on this list go, Madagascar 3 might be the least deserving of presumptuous dismissal, but that’s like saying a $200 pair of Beats headphones is a better investment than the $300 pair simply because you’re paying less for a still-overpriced item.  Except Madagascar 3 is coming to us in 3D (shocker there!) and even (post-converted) IMAX.  Whoops.

Madea’s Witness Protection

Please, take her away.  I’m here against my will.

Some people simply beat a dead horse.  Tyler Perry, on the other hand, prefers to find a herd of them, decapitate each one rather violently and crush them with cinder blocks until they’ve reached the Earth’s core.  Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh but honestly, who (besides Perry) wants to see this Madea creature keep polluting our theaters and stores?  I’d be more interested in seeing a sequel to White Chicks, not that the Wayans should take that to heart.  We already have over a half dozen films of Madea, which begins to make Michael Bay’s milking of the Transformers name seem innocent by comparison.  All he’d have to do to catch up is spit out two Transformers movies a year and the two can bask together while we collect the AYFKM memes.

Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D

Oh, yes, I totally hate being famous.  Yeah, attention is the LAST thing I want.

You’ve really got to hand it to people like Katy Perry and even Justin Bieber.  They give the world nothing but terrible music and an equally awful film about their pre-puberty struggles.  And yet people actually waste their time and shell out millions upon billions of dollars to hear and watch them.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say everything they provide is insurance so that, when they look more deplorable than their music, they’ll still have more money than any decent, hard-working individual would earn in twenty lifetimes.  I might be getting off topic but that’s essentially all this upcoming Katy Perry feature is shaping up to be.  It’s trying to cater to people by saying “chase your dream,” but if that were so most of us would probably be pimps smoking illegal substances while making Zombieland a reality.  Of course, that might just be wishful thinking, but it’s certainly more promising than the idea of watching this…thing.

Step Up Revolution

Your Project X ain’t got nothin’ on this!

In some ways films are great for seeing things we might fantasize about, but half the time it’s all just exploitation.  Us Americans are easily the fattest and laziest slobs on the planet, yet we only take the hottest of the hot in Hollywood and have even taken to dancing so much that we’re getting a fourth Step Up movie.  These movies are really just gimmicks, which wouldn’t be too bad if we didn’t keep getting a slight twisting of the original seven freaking times.  Film franchises like Saw have suffered from this by overstaying their welcome.  Then there’s a film like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which may have been just another car movie to most, but the reason it actually worked was because the drifting ultimately took a backseat to a little something called the story.  But hey, we’re in a time where people elect to rattle their cars apart with Dubstep, so it shows what I know.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Because red lips are too mainstream.

Given its bad rep, I’d think audiences would have the common sense to avoid the Twilight travesty.  But the unfortunate reality is it continues to be a multi-million-dollar franchise.  I leave it to you to answer me this: What does Twilight offer to make me care?  Perhaps there’s something about being torn between a pale pedophile with a sparkling chest and a crazily buffed up boy with no real acting emotion that speaks to the younger female demographic.  But heck, even as a guy who likes to quench his testosterone with a theatrical viewing of something like The Expendables, I can find entertainment in a “girly movie.”  I’ve at least somewhat enjoyed cliche dumps like Along Came Polly, 13 Going on 30 and How Do You Know.  Yet Twilight continues to astound me and I have to ask why so many people keep going to see these movies?  I suppose if there’s anyone the recently released teaser might interest it would be rednecks, what with Bella eying an innocent deer in the woods, but that’s just a small, tingling suspicion…I hope.

How about you?  What films coming out this year do you absolutely refuse to see?  Which ones do you wish people would have the sense to avoid?

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Blog, Film, Movies

 

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