Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to Succeed Post Potter Without Really Trying.

In the interest of the future of cinema it is important to be able to spot the talent that will make up the next generation of the industry. More often than not actors will not grow up to be as famous as they were as a kid, with good examples including Haley Joel Osment, and Macaulay Culkin, but occasionally as is the case with Jodie Foster, one will make it through to being a great adult talent.

Years ago when “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone” came out, I am sure that nobody suspected that the 11 year old boy playing Harry would go on to be a star of Broadway, performing in Tony Award winning revival plays such as “Equus” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. Daniel Radcliffe was nominated for a Drama Desk award for his performance in “Equus”. His performances in the early Potter films didn’t promise this much talent and yet the films continued to be made around him.

Emma Watson Proves That There is a Life After Harry Potter

Emma Watson in The Bling Ring
I will admit that in the grand scheme of the world involving Harry Potter, I will always admire the books over the movies. It isn't some anal code in which literature trumps cinema, just that the films seemed a bit too streamlined to be more than good. Still, if the Harry Potter films had any success, it is the amazing longevity that most of the actors had. 12 years ago, director Christopher Columbus changed the world by teaming up with prepubescent performers who didn't have more than a few minimal credits to their name. When compared to most child actors, the fact that a near perfect record stands not only for those who made it to the final film, but also live somewhat decent lives, despite being among the highest paid performers in the world and forever icons in a franchise grossing $1.15 billion (with a "B"). Still, how do you follow up the phenomenon without being typecasted? Among the main players, I feel like Emma Watson is doing it right.

Intro: Who Has Had the Best Life After Harry Potter?

Left to right: Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe
Hey everybody! It's Thomas.

With the recent news that J.K. Rowling is planning on expanding the Harry Potter universe by adapting the least adaptable book in her catalog: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." Yes, while the story doesn't focus around the boy who lived or his friends necessarily, the story will follow an adventurer as he discovers the creatures in the glossary. While we both agree that the film needs to impress us before we place judgement, it got us thinking about another form of argument: who has the better career from the Harry Potter central cast?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness Is the Best Movie of the Summer.

I enjoy an independent drama with deep thought provoking character stories, no special effects and budgets as small as my bank account as much as the next guy, but in my book, a good explosive action science fiction extravaganza with hundred million dollar budgets, and young heartthrobs in the leading roles has an advantage that no quiet drama can match up to. That is not to say that any blockbuster is immediately better than any drama, quite the opposite. More often than not the dramas and indie comedies are the ones that turn out better because they rely on quality to make their money back. When a good sci-fi epic comes along though, I myself feel excited and alive. I tend to come off as biased with my taste but I think it’s only natural considering human nature. There is something primaly exciting about watching explosions and lasers and aliens, after all when kids play with each other they don’t play as the struggling writer who is going through a divorce, they play as the Jedi or the cowboy.

"Fruitvale Station" was the Best Movie of the Summer

Michael B. Jordan
When I look back at the summer movie season, my initial reaction is disappointment. I may be somewhat of a snob when it comes to what I find entertaining, but I try not to be crass when it comes to the summer line-up. Last year saw great blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Even in terms of smaller titles, there were ambitious titles like Moonrise Kingdom and Oslo, August 31. Save for Monsters University, The East and The Bling Ring, there wasn’t anything that struck me as above mediocre between June and July. Even the films I wanted to see, including V/H/S 2 and This Is the End were good, but not without caveats.

Intro: A Look Back at the Summer Season

Artwork from Beach Blanket Bingo
Hey everybody! Thomas here to thank everyone for making my piece in our Marvel vs. D.C. debate the winner. As a consolation for winning, I am in charge of presenting what we have next up. As we enter September and look at some high scale films, it would almost be too easy to forget about the past few weeks. In fact, we're not having a contest this time around, but instead looking at two different sides of the summer movie season.