Five for the Fifth: First Edition of 2013!

fiveforthefifth

Hello folks, welcome to the first 2013 edition of Five for the Fifth!!

As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

1. Well, since it’s only five days into the new year, some people are perhaps just starting their New Year’s Resolutions or perhaps already forgotten all about it, ahah. I actually haven’t really thought about it, though in terms of blogging and movies, I do want to watch more classic movies this year, which I did right away with The Shop Around the Corner on January 1st. It was pretty sweet, I love James Stewart, I need to do a JS marathon :D

Anyway, I’m curious if you’ve got any New Year’s resolution. Name one (or more if you choose) movie/blogging resolution for the year.

……
Oscar20132. Can you believe it that only 5 days away until The Academy Awards nominations! On Thursday, January 10, the nominations will be announced at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. I’ll have a reaction post after that but for now, but I feel like I’m not ready to do my 2013 predictions, though last year I was pretty good in my predictions.

Anyway, last year there was only 9 nominees, so who knows how many it’ll be this year. Well, just for the fun of it, I’ll take a stab at my predictions for the 10 Best Picture nominees:

  1. Argo
  2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  3. Django Unchained
  4. Les Miserables
  5. Life of Pi
  6. Lincoln
  7. Moonrise Kingdom
  8. Silver Linings Playbook
  9. The Master
  10. Zero Dark Thirty

Sounds like it’s a really competitive race this year, I’m really curious which one would sweep the Oscars this year with at least five nominations or more.

So what’s YOUR Best Picture predictions, folks? Any hunch which one would take home the most Oscars?

..

3. Well, you’ve probably read my goodbye letter to Gerry Butler this past week after seeing the train wreck that is Playing For Keeps. It’s too bad really, but until I see him in much better materials, I can’t simply call myself a GB fan anymore.

ChanningTatumIt’s been quite an interesting year as I actually start to like an actor I previously don’t care for. Now, I’m not exactly a fan of his yet, but at least I’m not going to brush him off so quickly as I did before. I’m referring to Channing Tatum. I first saw him in Haywire and I thought he was just ok, but his performance in Magic Mike was actually pretty good and he was hilarious in 21 Jump Street. So in fairness, I guess I’m starting to see what all the fuss is about him. But no, I’m not about to rent G.I. Joe or [gasp] Dear John.

Btw, the irony is not lost on me that GB and Channing will go mano-a-mano later this year (well not literally) with their White House action flicks. As Terrence has predicted, chances are both are going to be disappointing, ahah.

Anyway, which actor disappointed you this year and/or on the flip side, did you have a change of heart about someone you previously dislike?

4. Switching gears a bit to casting news. For quite a while now, I’ve been reading endless casting reports for yet another Marvel superhero ‘team’ movies in the works, a comic book I’m not familiar about called Guardians of the Galaxy. Just who the heck is that all about?

Even the 31st Century needs heroes, and the call has been answered by the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team of superhuman and extraterrestrial adventurers dedicated to the safeguarding of the Milky Way Galaxy from any force that threatens the security or liberty of its various people. (per Marvel.com)

Apparently James Gunn is going to direct, yet another name I’m not familiar about. But some of the actors who’ve reportedly been tested for the various roles did pique my interest. Here are just some of the names that have been linked to the project:

  • Joel Edgerton
  • Jack Huston
  • Jim Sturgess
  • Lee Pace
  • Eddie Redmayne
  • Zachary Levi
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor in Smallville)

Now, I’m not exactly interested in this movie yet, but if Lee Pace ends up being cast, now that’s a different story :D

GuardiansOfGalaxyLeePace

What do you think of this project? Any particular actor you’d like to see getting cast here?


5. Lastly, since I haven’t posted a Music Break in a while, I’ve got include a movie music in here somewhere. I don’t know if I’ll be posting my list of favorite soundtracks of 2012, but if I did, The Hobbit would surely make the list. I mean, some soundtracks you listen to later on and appreciate. But this music was an absolutely integral reason why I enjoyed the journey so much. Howard Shore did such an amazing job creating a new theme for The Hobbit, whilst incorporating some parts of The Lord of the Rings theme I’ve come to know and love. From the time Thorin (Richard Armitage) led his band of dwarves sang The Misty Mountains in what sounds like a solemn hymn, that beautiful theme continue to mesmerize and move me throughout the film.

The theme itself wasn’t written by Shore however, but by David Donaldson, David Long, Steve Roche and Janet Roddick, who apparently have worked together as composers/songwriters Wellington New Zealand (Thanks MovieMusicUK). Take a listen below:

So my last question to you is, what’s the most memorable movie music you’ve listened to this year? :D



That’s it for the first 2013 edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! :D

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Happy 43rd Birthday Gerard Butler!

I can’t believe I almost forgot that today’s Gerry Butler’s birthday! I actually remembered it last month as I knew the date falls on the 13th. Alas, my fourth tribute to my long-time crush comes a little late. Ger, if you’re reading this, I hope you don’t mind! (yeah, dream on girl)

Well, this marks my FOURTH tribute to the 43-year-old actor since I fell for him back in 2005 right after I saw Phantom of the Opera for the second time on the big screen. But I didn’t have a blog back then until about 5 years later. So if you do the math, that means I’ve been a fan of his for the last seven years. I’m pretty loyal I guess when it comes to my crush. Though I was spellbound by Gregory Peck for a time (I’m sure y’all remember), I never really forget about my beloved Scot. I mean how could I? He’s my only cinematic crush I’ve ever been blessed to meet, as you’ve probably read in my TIFF nostalgia post.

Seems that I have created all kinds of lists in Gerry’s honor. On my first tribute on this blog, I actually shared an excerpt from my work-in-progress temporarily abandoned Whirlwind novel where the male protagonist is pretty much inspired by GB. I mean his name is Eric Sheridan, I think GB’s fans would know where that comes from ;)

Here are a few other tributes for GB over the years:

One of the 42 reasons Becky and I agree on is how versatile GB is as an actor.

He’s played a brother to a confidant of Queen Victoria, Dracula, a young, out-of-work, scheming cad, Attila the Hun, a lonely alcoholic juror who finds love in the wrong place, a time traveling archaeologist, a temporary father to a young deaf boy, Beowulf, a Spartan king, a very loving, charming husband who dies much too soon, an amateur gangster, the voice of a father to an animated boy who ends up taming dragons, a reformed drug addict turned preacher, who in turn gives back life and hope to impoverished children in Africa, a soccer coach, a surfing coach, and a lot more. Whew!

The many faces of GB in the movies

Now, the Top Five Favorite GB Roles post is not a birthday tribute but I’m re-posting that list again here as three years later, even though I have seen six more of his films, I still don’t know which ones I’d swap out and I’m not quite ready to make a top 10 list yet (save that for next year perhaps). So let’s just say I’m putting his roles in Rocknrolla, Machine Gun Preacher, Coriolanus, Timeline and Chasing Mavericks in honorable mentions for now.

The Phantom/Erik (Phantom of the Opera)

The moment I went ‘who’s THAT guy?’

This one is obviously going to be the top of the list, being the role that won me over. Some critics trashed his singing, comparing it to Michael Crawford’s voice — the original Phantom on Broadway — which is unfair as he had no vocal training prior to doing this role. Besides, Gerry’s rock ‘n roll voice was what Andrew Llyod Webber wanted for the film and I could see why. The way he imbued each song with such genuine heart-felt emotion was beautiful and devastating to watch. In fact, he sort of ruined the stage version for me as I’d much prefer Gerry’s dazzling performance. Plus, he could swing that cape like nobody’s business, and even with a half deformed face, he was as sexy as ever.

Johnnie Donne  (BBC miniseries The Jury)

Every time people tell me he can’t act, I almost always tell them to catch a glimpse of this little-seen legal drama. Gerry played a recovering alcoholic juror who’s trying to get his life back on track in the midst of a grueling murder trial. Even early in his career, I was impressed with his intense dramatic chops. It’s all in the eyes with Gerry, and all the close-up shots throughout this series truly captured the inner struggle of his character. My favorite scene is when he learned the truth about the woman he’s in love with. I can’t watch that scene without tearing up. He made brokenness and heartbreak so utterly bewitching.

King Leonidas (300)

The world finally learns who Gerry is because of this role. It’s not one of my fave GB movies because of the genre, but the movie worked because the audience believed in him as the King. Gerry transformed himself physically which definitely helped the role, but his regal yet severe demeanor gave Leonidas that commanding presence. If you see GB in any interview or talk-show, we know he’s a gregarious and goofy guy, but there’s no trace of that in this role.

The Stranger (Dear Frankie)

This tiny gem of a movie won many festival film awards and remains one of my all-time favorites. GB’s only in it for merely 20 minutes or so, but every single scenes he’s in packs an emotional wallop. There’s probably only a page of dialog written for his character, which is why it calls for a very restrained and measured kind of acting. There’s a scene where the Stranger reacted to something Frankie’s mother Lizzie said. I can’t forget that look on his face: it was a mix of disgust, pity, anger and deep sympathy all rolled into one.

Gerry (P.S. I Love You)

GB’s new fans from 300 was flabbergasted to see his soft side right after such a bad @$$ role, but that’s exactly what I expect from him. He’s said in interviews that he shared some of the gregariousness of his ‘Gerry’ character and it shows. He plays him with such ease and is as convincing as a softie, goofy dude — complete with the shamrock-boxer-clad striptease — as he was as a tough-as-nail King of Sparta. Having to act opposite two-time Oscar winner must’ve been daunting but lots of people who’ve seen this actually thought it’s Hillary Swank who could be better cast here.


Quick Thoughts on GB’s Career

I know he’s had a share of flops the past couple of years, though certainly no fault of his. Machine Gun Preacher was marketed poorly — actually barely is the more fitting word here — and Chasing Mavericks seems to suffer a similar fate. He was excellent in Coriolanus but the Shakespearean dialog naturally deters a lot of people from seeing it in its brief theatrical run (it never even made it to some states like here in MN). But I give GB props for constantly trying something new and challenging himself. He’s not afraid to try something new, I mean he learned how to surf at 41, that’s really quite something! He seems to often suffer for his art, too, something I’ve always admired about him. From sitting in the makeup chair for over 5 hours for Phantom, working out until his muscles are gone for 300, and nearly drowning to death in Chasing Mavericks. GB seems to live his life to the fullest… albeit too close to the edge at times.

Despite being a longtime fan, I have skipped a couple of GB movies, such as Gamer. I’ve also detested two of his rom-coms (The Ugly Truth and The Bounty Hunter) as they’re both so badly-written. I’m hoping Playing For Keeps would fare a bit better the fact that it’s more of a soccer dramedy as his character is a former Celtic football player. Plus he gets to keep his native Scottish accent, hurray! I’m looking forward to Olympus Has Fallen, yes it’s that Die Hard in the White House flick, but I’d love to see GB in a full-throttle action again and it’s nice to see him being surrounded by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Aaron Eckhart, and Melissa Leo, amongst others. Hopefully we see a trailer soon and also a much, much better poster than this one, preferably with his name actually listed on the darn thing (seriously!)

If I have one wish for him is that he’d choose his next project wisely. Hollywood is fickle and with three flops back-to-back, a lot of people might think his career is over by now. I’d love to see him take on some supporting roles in high-profile projects and work with top notch filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, what have you. Perhaps the pressure is on for him to always be the lead but I think taking on supporting roles like he did in Coriolanus might actually broaden his horizon so to speak. He’s a versatile and capable actor but I feel that his talent has been either wasted on sub-par movies or that his good performances get grossly overlooked. I sure hope better years lie ahead for him… oh and that he’d FINALLY do the Robert Burns biopic that he’d be perfect for!

So, Happy Birthday, Gerry! Here’s to good health, joyful days and a long lasting cinematic career!


So that’s my belated tribute, folks. Thoughts you want to share on Gerry Butler?

Trailer Spotlight: Playing For Keeps

All right, two sports-related Gerard Butler trailers released within a month! I wonder if it’s because of the Olympics?? First we’ve got a surfer movie, now soccer, not that I’m complaining :) Now, this one was supposed to be released last March as I included it in my most anticipated movies for the first quarter of 2012. Well, when I mentioned this one in the GB Special Post, at the time it was still called Playing The Field.

Anyway, we’ve now got a brand new trailer and updated synopsis [per Yahoo Movies]:

A charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star returns home to put his life back together. Looking for a way to rebuild his relationship with his son, he gets roped into coaching the boy’s soccer team. But his attempts to finally become an “adult” are met with hilarious challenges from the attractive “soccer moms” who pursue him at every turn.

Well, I like this trailer a bit better than Chasing Mavericks’. Well for one, Gerry gets to keep his Scottish brogue, wahoo! Plus, I kind of like seeing him with kids. I mean the last time he played dad to a little boy was in the wonderful indie Dear Frankie, and he’s definitely a natural with them. Then there’s the supporting cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid and Judy Greer, though I wish Uma and Judy get at least a line in the trailer?? Initially I thought Biel only had a small role, but it seems that she’s got second billing here.

Ah well, I’m going to file this one under ‘promising’ even though the trailer itself is rather meh, and that song is annoyingly schmaltzy. This curiously Mondrian-styled poster doesn’t exactly scream artsy either. But hey, I like the idea of Gerry + soccer, and it’s helmed by a pretty credible director, Gabriele Muccino, the Italian director who helped Will Smith got his second Oscar nomination in The Pursuit of Happyness. Interestingly, that one also features a single dad and his young son.

In any case, I’m glad they switched this from a baseball-themed movie to soccer when Butler was cast [per LA Times blog], and the fact that he was involved in a lot of soccer charity match, including this year’s star-studded Soccer Aid, he’s perfect for this role! It’s poised to be a feel-good dramedy this Winter, but here’s hoping it offers us something more than that.

Updated 11/29: Playing For Keeps Featurette on GB’s character George


Playing For Keeps
is released December 7.


Thoughts on this trailer, folks?

Gerard Butler Special: What’s next for my favorite Scot

Taking cues from my fellow Indonesian blogger Novia who’s done a great job keeping us updated on what her #1 crush Cillian Murphy is up to, I decided to keep you abreast on what’s going on with MY #1 crush ;) I will be doing another follow-up posts that list the projects for the other four actors that round up my top five crush list (that I listed on Novia’s 5-men to drool on post) :D

Seems like the last few months he’s been constantly rumored to be cast in all kinds of movies. I counted seven projects listed under pre-productions in his IMDb page.

  • Manhunt (pre-production)
  • Olympus Has Fallen (pre-production)
  • Crossface (pre-production)
  • Thunder Run (pre-production)
  • Motor City (pre-production)
  • Brilliant (pre-production)
  • Hunter Killer (pre-production)

None of them seems to have any real confirmation, that is until last week there’s news about Olympus Has Fallen, a.k.a. the other Die Hard in the White house movie that Millennium Films are developing (more on that later). The only other possible project out of that list that seems legit is Albert Hughes’ Motor City. I was really psyched about that one when Gary Oldman was involved [even GB himself was very excited about the possibility of working with his acting hero] but now Oldman has exited the project, bummer! I do hope they’ve got another excellent actor in Oldman’s place.

Before I get to his upcoming projects, here’s the rundown of the films he’s wrapped and will be out later this year:

Chasing Mavericks

I just read on this site that the title has now been changed from Of Men and Mavericks (though it’s not reflected yet on the poster below), I prefer the former but I suppose the simpler title is easier to remember.

Director: Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential)

Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Scott Eastwood, Jonny Weston

Butler made the news back in December during filming and almost lost his life! He was getting ready to film action scenes when he was thrown off his surfboard and pummeled by breakers at least 12 feet high, then held underwater for two consecutive waves before being hit on the head by four or five more when he managed to swim to the surface. (per Daily Mail). He described the surfing incident during this Graham Norton interview and said he was under for almost a minute!

I am VERY excited about this one because of Hanson’s involvement and the fact that Gerry is learning how to surf for this film. Mavericks tells the true story of a courageous young surfer who trains with an old school master of the sport to reach heights that few men ever dare. Frosty, (Butler) a quiet, reclusive surfing guru, struggles to balance his addiction for the rush of riding waves with the responsibilities of raising a family (per letitcast.com).

Check out the gorgeous and majestic-looking poster [thanks to my pal Terrence], man look at that wave!

Release Date: October 26, 2012

Playing the Field

Director: Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness)

Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Judy Greer

I have talked about that movie here as well as posted some on-set photos. The premise seems tailor-made for Gerry. He plays a former professional soccer player with a wild past who tries to redeem himself by coaching his son’s soccer team, only to find himself tempted by the kids’ restless and gorgeous moms. Two of those moms are Zeta-Jones and Thurman, I think Biel is playing his ex-wife. Not a bad female cast at all, well, apart from Biel that is.

I sincerely hope they have a different poster than this one, but what I REALLY want to see is a trailer!

Release Date: December 7, 2012

Now, here’s one he’ll be filming soon that I’m quite excited about:

Olympus Has Fallen

Director: Antoine Fuqua (Training Day)

Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, Dylan McDermott

THR reported that this movie — which was marketed at Cannes as White House Taken —that Butler plays a Secret Service agent who has fallen from grace — until the White House is attacked and taken over by a team of North Koreans armed with extraordinary technology. Everything the Pentagon throws at the problem fails and it falls on Butler’s character, who knows the famous building like nobody else, to save the president and the country. Heh, I don’t like either one of the title, but hopefully this is just temporary and they’ll come up with something better. This is that other ‘Die Hard in the White House’ movie that’s probably going to be out of the same time next year. Kind of like the battle of the Snow Whites this year.

Eckhart reportedly will play the U.S. President and Bassett has signed on to play the role of the head of the Secret Service. Now just yesterday, news came in that Dylan McDermott will also play one of the secret service agents, presumably under Bassett’s command? Well, well, well, how many hunks could one movie have? ;) I initially wasn’t keen on this one but I’m quite excited about this project now. I mean I LOVE the cast, just Butler and Bassett alone is enough to sell the movie, and now we’ve got Eckhart on top of the bargain. Plus Fuqua’s gritty style should make this intriguing and he’s certainly has a way with actors.

Additional cast info:

A few hours after I posted this, THR reported that Oscar winner Melissa Leo is in negotiation to portray ‘a tough secretary of Defense who cracks when tortured,’ and Rick Yune is confirmed to play the villain of the movie, ‘a North Korean posing as a South Korean ministerial aide who is described as a sociopath monster.’ Cole Hauser (as one of the FBI agents) and Radha Mitchell (as Butler’s wife) have also joined the cast. Ashley Judd has also been cast as the First Lady and Robert Forster as a US general.

Filming has started in Shreveport, Louisiana and one lucky fan posted this photo on the right with Butler who’s now clean-shaven and sporting a new cropped hair [swoon] :D

Click to view a larger version

Btw, the other White House action flick is helmed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day) and starring the beefcake Channing Tatum as the secret agent who’ll save the day. Makes it a pretty easy choice which one I’ll go see, ahah.

Release Date: June 13, 2013

Thunder Run

Director: Simon West

Cast: Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey

According to THR, this movie has received funding at Cannes. Reportedly, the script is adapted by Robert Port and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) from Thunder Run — The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino. Principal photography is to start this Summer.

Butler told EMPIRE what the movie is about: “It’s about the initial attack on Baghdad, as US troops went in with a column of tanks called the Thunder Run — and it’s going to be done like Avatar,” Butler says. “My face and body will be recorded with little cameras and everything else will be CGI, painted in in the background. I’ve never read a script with more action, more explosions, more violence. If you didn’t do it like this, it would cost $300 million. I saw a three-minute test-piece and it blew my balls off.”

A little trivia: McConaughey has worked w/ Butler before in Reign of Fire, yep with our favorite Batman Christian Bale, no less. Butler played Bale’s BFF in a dragon-infested dystopian Britain.

I don’t know about this one, I’m going to wait and see as the subject matter doesn’t appeal to me. I’m far more psyched about How To Train Your Dragon 2, GB’s first ever sequel project and I’m glad it’s something I’ll definitely enjoy!

The role that got away

I’ve got to talk about that casting news on Highlander that’s been swirling around lately. Well, a couple of weeks ago, it’s apparently confirmed that Ryan Reynolds is going to reprise the role of the immortal Scottish warrior Connor MacLeod. So it seems that role authenticity has gone by the wayside again. As you know, the original MacLeod in the 1986 movie was played by a French guy Christopher Lambert with Sean Connery playing a Spaniard (good grief!), and now we’ve got a Canadian native in the role. So maybe this time Ramirez might be played by… Brian Cox? Or might as well just get Billy Connolly there, hot off the success of Pixar’s Brave [shrug]

Well, it’s no surprise WHO my pick would be for MacLeod…

Despite being perhaps a bit too old for the role, I think Butler would’ve ROCKED it. A real Scotsman who has done a plethora of heroic roles in the past. He can swing a mean sword better than anyone and he wouldn’t have to fake a Scottish accent. I was having some Twitter discussion with my Glaswegian friend Mark of MarkedMovies and his pick for the role is Robert Carlyle.

If not Butler, I personally would rather see an unknown who’s the right age and ethnicity than Reynolds any day. Ah well, I’ve said my rant so I guess I’ll just try to let this go.

Roles I’d LOVE to see him do

Well of course I’d love to see him do a British romantic thriller like Hearts Want that I pitched a couple of years ago. I think a role that requires him to be a ‘tough guy with a heart’ suits him well and I’d love to see him opposite a sultry actress like Eva Green. Seems like all of the movies Butler’s signed on are all action-packed, I do hope he’d have some dramatic roles he’ll be signing on in the future as he’s got the chops for them. I’ve said so many times since I’ve seen what he’s capable of in the BBC miniseries The Jury, and most recently his soulful performance in Machine Gun Preacher. You can read my full review here and if you think I’m biased, then check out my pal Mark’s take on it here.

I’m still holding on to hope that he’ll do the Robert Burns biopic that I mentioned several times, here and here. I know Butler was interested to do it at one point so hopefully it’s still on his radar. There were reports that he had met with the potential director Vadim Jean and it’s to be written by Alan Sharp (Rob Roy – check out my friend Michael’s in-depth review of the film). Even the Scottish Government was supposedly going to provide financial backing for the film. Not sure what happened since, but by golly, if he can’t do MacLeod, here’s another role where he can actually play a Scotsman!!

Plus Scotland’s favorite son is supposedly quite the ladies man, so a role tailor-made for Butler, right? ;)

Producing Gigs

Butler and his long-time manager Alan Siegel formed a production company Evil Twins back in 2008. Apparently his company was being sued by another production company called Evil Twins Prods [per THR], so I believe now they go by Alan Siegel Entertainment.

In any case, Butler’s been wearing the producer’s hat for a while, in fact he’s producing three of his upcoming films I’ve mentioned above: Of Men and Mavericks, Playing the Field and Olympus Has Fallen.

Well, I read in LA Times that he’s now going to produce Septembers of Shiraz, which centers on a young Jewish girl in Iran whose life is thrown into disarray shortly after the 1979 revolution, when her wealthy jeweler father is brutally jailed. The story is based on Dalia Sofer’s debut novel.

The NY Times  review says, “Sofer writes beautifully… she tells her characters’ stories with deceptive simplicity. Every member of the Amin family attains a moving, and memorable, depth and reality.

I’ll keep an eye on this project, seems like an intriguing story that has a lot of dramatic potential.


Well, those are what Butler’s been up to. Which of his projects are you interested in?

7×7 Award

You like me, you really like me!

Ehm, pardon my heartfelt enthusiasm but I really am grateful for this award and pardon my tardiness in getting this post up. I share this award with my wonderful contributors, especially Ted S. and Jack Deth.

Firstly, let me say thank you so very much Michael, Diana, Ruth, Julian, Niels, Richard, Pete, Andina and Dan for tagging me. Now I gladly oblige to the rules that come with this award :)

The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple:

1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.

2: Link to a post I think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece.

3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers.

As for a fact that nobody knows… Well, I think with the exception of a few close friends, most people don’t know that Gerry Butler inspired me to write a novel. An unusual inspiration I know, but when I had a massive crush on him after seeing Phantom of the Opera back in 2004, I actually started writing a novel a year later in which the protagonist is inspired by him. I even named the character Eric, a variation of ‘Erik’ which is the real name of the Phantom in the original Gaston Leroux’s novel. You can read an excerpt from an earlier draft of one of the chapters here. I’ve since put that post on the back burner since I started this blog, but I’m still hoping to pick that up again in the future.

The Most Beautiful Piece

Beauty is so subjective, but I think I’d have to go with the two part list of 15 favorite period drama heroes that I collaborated with my friend Paula. It took quite a bit of effort to do this and I must say, it’s filled with a lot of really beautiful men :D

The Most Helpful Piece

Hmmm, I don’t want to be presumptuous that people find any of my posts helpful, but I suppose for non-Bond fans or those who aren’t familiar with this franchise might find Our picks of Best & Worst Bond films from each decade handy when they want to get into Bond movies.

Most Popular Piece

To this day, no post has been able to beat this Actors who are (surprisingly) good singers post I did back in November 2009. Thanks to IMDb hitlist (which sadly is going away soon), this post got nearly 20,000 hits in one day and over 100 comments. I guess everyone has some strong opinions as to who they think are good singers… or not :)

Most Controversial Piece

No doubt this one is the most controversial so far – Tired of boys ruling Hollywood? Get these real men to the rescue. It’s another post that got picked up by IMDb in 2009 that generated quite a lot of angry responses! Some actually call me a racist for the lack of colored actors in the post. Geez, I’m not white myself but since when is it wrong to have a preference in actors?? People take these things way too seriously, ahah.

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece

Well, unlike the King of Blog Series that is Nostra, there’s barely any that I keep regularly here on FC. But the Five for the Fifth series prove to be quite successful ever since I launched it back in January of 2011. Thanks everyone for participating on these posts every month!

Most Underrated Piece

Well, I often mention Return to Me on this blog as one of my favorite rom-coms ever. I wrote a lengthy piece as to why it’s such a beautiful, poignant chick flick more people should check out, sadly I don’t think anyone’s read it.

Most Pride-Worthy Piece

I spent a ton of time on each of the fantasy movie pitches that Castor of Anomalous Material started, so those posts are very special to me. My favorite of all of them remains to be Hearts Want, a romantic thriller starring Timothy Dalton and Helen Mirren in the lead roles, directed by Ridley Scott. It’d be a dream come true to someday translate that into a real screenplay.


Well, since I’m quite late into this meme, seems like everyone has done this already or been tagged by others. So I’d like to pass this award to those who hasn’t done this yet but whose blogs are one of my favorites. So here goes:



Thanks everyone for your support of this wee blog. Your readership and comments are always sincerely appreciated!

Flix News of the Week: Ridley Scott possibly teaming up w/ Gerry Butler for an African thriller

Ok yes I know, given how prolific Ridley Scott is (just check out this long list even from a year ago), who knows when we’ll see this project off the ground. But one can hope, right? I love Ridley’s work and you know how I feel about Butler, and so I’ve been hoping one day these two would work together! In fact, in my first Fantasy Movie Pitch I did called Hearts Want, I had both of them teaming up in romance thriller set in London.

So anyway, here’s the gist per Deadline: Sir Scott is reportedly attached to direct and produce this African thriller through his Scott Free banner, with Gerard Butler to star as the protagonist Simon Man, and Robert Edwards (The Bomb In My Garden) to write the script.

What’s the story about?

Simon Mann is a former British army officer who in 2004 put together a band of mercenaries to attempt a coup against the president of Equatorial Guinea. The coup attempt was thwarted in Zimbabwe, where Mann went to pick up weapons. He spent five years in a harsh prison there before being taken to Equatorial Guinea where he was sentenced to 34 years–but spared that sentence when he received a presidential pardon in 2009. His backers –Mann said one was Mark Thatcher, son of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—disavowed involvement with Mann after the coup failed. Both Mann and his wife Amanda have been making the rounds at studios the past several days along with Edwards, and insiders say there are high hopes this will end in a deal.

Well, it’s not exactly a romance thriller I was hoping for (seriously Hollywood, we need more of that genre!!), and after Machine Gun Preacher and Coriolanus, I’m kind of hoping he’d do a drama without weapons involved for a change. But still I’m excited for this. The real-life story is intriguing and I know Butler is perfect for such a role.

For sure I’d rather see him do this than Thunder Run, yet another action thriller starring Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey that Castor talked about last month on his blog. It’s to be made with motion-capture 3D, bla, bla, bla… I’m just not crazy about that one. Well, I hope this African thriller will materialize, I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear more about this. Oh and I’ll also be posting about Butler’s upcoming soccer comedy Playing the Field this weekend. Stay tuned!


Well, what do you think of this casting news, folks? Let’s hear it!

A Birthday Tribute – 42 Reasons We Love Gerry Butler

The sexy Scot Gerry Butler turns 42 today!

This is my third birthday tribute for the actor… well, since he stole my heart back in December 2004, this marked the 6th year of me crushing over him, ahah. As I told you in my Case of Being Spellbound post the other day, I’m fiercely loyal when it comes to certain crushes, and Gerry managed to keep my interest despite some questionable movie choices. Let’s be fair, folks, what actor hasn’t made a bad move in their entire career, right? So no, I’m definitely not gonna hold it against him for doing The Ugly Truth, he’s redeemed himself in other performances since, and I’m looking forward to his upcoming roles in Shakespearean thriller Coriolanus, soccer comedy Playing the Field and surfer biopic Of Men and Mavericks.

So anyway, as I did with the Rufus Sewell b’day post, I’ve asked Becky, my partner in crime when it comes to cinematic crushes to come up with half of the reasons… so here’s the list starting with hers until #21:

1. OK, let’s face facts. He’s tall, dark, handsome and oozing with sex appeal. ‘Nuf said.

2. He makes an intimidating and ruthless character simmering and sensual as The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

3. And on top of that, he has a deep, resounding singing voice to boot.

4. He’s very friendly and generous with autographs and pictures for his fans, but to the paparazzi, not so much.

5. Because he’s bared his lovely bum three (official) times: His first film, Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown (1997), 300 (2006) and Law Abiding Citizen (2009). There’s also quite an infamous “unofficial” occasion too, but it shall remain unnamed. (Hint: it starts with a G) :D

6. He can be a total goofball, especially anywhere near the vicinity of fellow Scot and late night talk show host, Craig Ferguson.

7. Talk about versatile. He’s played a brother to a confidant of Queen Victoria, Dracula, a young, out-of-work, scheming cad, Attila the Hun, a lonely alcoholic juror who finds love in the wrong place, a time traveling archaeologist, a temporary father to a young deaf boy, Beowulf, a Spartan king, a very loving, charming husband who dies much too soon, an amateur gangster, the voice of a father to an animated boy who ends up taming dragons, a reformed drug addict turned preacher, who in turn gives back life and hope to impoverished children in Africa, a soccer coach, a surfing coach, and a lot more. Whew!

8. Is he an actor, or is he a model? Hard to tell sometimes especially when you see some his (sizzling ;)) photo shoots.

9. Because he performs the most touching, evocative song ever: No One Would Listen. It was shamelessly, and erroneously cut from Phantom of the Opera.

10. He is a real-life hero. He once saved a young boy from drowning in the River Tay in Scotland while filming Mrs. Brown, and received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royale Humane Society.

11. He is the only man I’ve ever seen doing pull ups in a muscle shirt (oh yeah!) UPSIDE DOWN from the bars ON TOP of his jail cell in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. How’s that for macho?!

12. He has steely, but playful green/gray eyes.

13. Because I really believe his performance and being a producer of Machine Gun Preacher will create awareness of the terrible conditions in Sudan, and many, many people who otherwise wouldn’t will be moved, provoked to help; his hopes are high.

14. He played two characters in the wonderful children’s film Nim’s Island: the caring father and the action hero.

15. He readily admits he can shed a tear, sometimes a little too easily.

16. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.

17. He won the role of Phantom over Hollywood heavyweights Antonio Banderas and John Travolta. Impressive! (Oh, no, there I go, the Phantom, again!)

18. He quit drinking AND smoking.

19. He has one of the most memorable kisses ever in Dear Frankie.20. He did many of his own stunts in 300.

21. He’s one of two of the most famous and best actors ever to come out of Scotland (of course, Sean Connery is the other one) :-D

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22. Looks is one thing, but screen presence is everything for an actor, and Gerry has both in spades. He’s one of those actor that’s quite challenging to ‘steal’ scenes from.

23. He’s so ridiculously entertaining in interviews, there are too many memorable ones to mention, but this Phantom interview by Japanese TV still takes the cake. It’s such a hoot to watch him indulging the fawning female interviewer with her dream of doing a duet with him:

Another memorable interview is this one with Canadian’s Tribute magazine where he unknowingly serenaded Bonnie the interviewer. Lucky gal!


24. I like an actor with a deprecating sense of humor. Gerry definitely has that as he didn’t mind poking fun at himself during his SNL hosting stint. The Beauty & The Beast skit is my favorite!

25. I have no shame in admitting I adore P.S. I Love You. Gerry playing Gerry, the dead husband who helped his wife with her grief is precious and really gets my heart aflutter. He’s so believably goofy but loving, and there are tons of memorable scenes (i.e. the Karaoke scene) in it that lets him relish on his gregarious side.

26. He always mix things up in his career, playing a different character from one movie to the next. People always just remember him in the rom-coms, but he’s played a variety of different roles post 300. A family man-turned-vigilante in Law Abiding Citizen, a dual role of scientist dad/Indiana Jones-y adventurer Nim’s Island, and a futuristic prisoner in Gamer, just to name a few.

27. I like the fact that he doesn’t seem like a vain actor when it comes to his physique. Post 300, everyone expected him to still have his ridiculous 12-pack abs, but he didn’t mind looking a bit pudgy in Nim’s Island, which makes me love him more!

28. It’s a shame this film went straight to DVD, but Shattered is actually a pretty decent thriller with a twist. Butler outshone Pierce Brosnan as the baddie, though it’s a bit hard to believe that him with his still buff physique won’t just take Brosnan out in some of the scenes. Watch the trailer below

29. I love Butler’s strength as King Leonidas, as well as his tender scenes with his wife Queen Gorgo.

30. In the October issue of L.A. Confidential magazine, the cover article says ‘Hollywood’s Last Bad Boy’ and he’s certainly got that swagger and untamed persona both on and off screen.

31. In that same magazine, he’s quoted in saying … “That’s the most exciting thing for me as an actor: Nobody can ever define you. They go, ‘Oh, he’s the action guy.’ ‘Oh, he’s the comedy guy.’ I’m not any of those things, and I never want to be categorized like that. People shouldn’t know what to expect from me.” I totally agree and his versatility is part of what I like most about him.

32. It’s all about the eyes… and his piercing greenish-gray pair are so hypnotically expressive.

33. Oh, and don’t forget the hair… he’s one of those rare actors who look fantastic in any kind of haircut… from a buzz cut in Lara Croft II to the shaggy long mane as a Mongolian in Attila. I’m lovin’ his long-ish style he’s sporting now for a role as a surfing instructor in Curtis Hanson’s upcoming movie.

The many faces... and hairstyles of Gerry Butler

34. Intelligence is sexy. His wit is evident in every interview he’s done. He’s got a law degree at Glasgow University and even served as President of Law Society, but yet he followed his heart to be an actor.

35. I read somewhere that he ‘…connect[s] with people who have a lot of pain…’ It’s that tortured-soul quality in some of the roles he’s played (The Phantom, Sam Childers in Machine Gun Preacher) that gets me every time.

36. I love the fact that he’s not ‘perfect’ looking nor too well-groomed. This Telegraph interviewer described him perfectly “…his face has a bruised, lived-in quality. There are laughter lines around his eyes and, with his beard and curly ringlets, he’s just starting to grey at the temples.” 

37. A guy who loves his mom is always a major plus in my book. Despite his success and being away from home, he’s still close to his mother Margaret.

38. His sense of adventure is admirable. He’s always game to try something different for a role or as a hobby… he recently took up surfing and told Craig Ferguson on his Late, Late Show that he’s been learning to fly a helicopter.

39. His comic timing is as great to watch as his action stuff, i.e. as One-Two Rocknrolla.

40. A sexy man looks and sounds good… he’s certainly got both with his irresistible Scottish brogue [sigh]

41. I respect an actor who’s dedicated to his craft and is dedicated to every role he plays. Butler’s willingness to take a massive pay cut to do Machine Gun Preacher and his killer training for 300 proves that he’s suffered for his art.

42. And lastly… he’s got that slightly crooked smile that can light up a room!

I’ll always be thankful to him that he didn’t push me away when I abruptly grabbed his hand back at TIFF 2005. Come to think of it, some actors might not be as gracious. And what’s more, he even remembered me when I saw him outside Elgin Theater and was kind enough to sign my picture!


So please join me in wishing the great Scot a happy birthday… and do share what’s your favorite Gerard Butler role.

The Case of Being Spellbound: Musings on Movie Crushes

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time… but seeing how swoon-worthy Gregory Peck in Spellbound I feel like indulging. Besides, one of my longtime crush is having a birthday this Saturday, another one has a movie opening this Friday, and my friend Novia just happened to be celebrating her Monthly [Cillian] Murphy series on her ultimate movie crush, so today just seems as good a time as any. Admit it, we’ve all got our share of movie crushes. Some last only as long as the film you saw him/her in question remains in your memory, but some crushes linger for years.

So what really constitute as a movie crush?

I think a real crush is when you like an actor so much you just can’t get enough of them. You want to see everything he’s ever done, and you’re willing to track down even the most obscure little thing you could find, even if he has only like 5-minute screen time. That’s what I did as a wee girl when I fell for Christopher Reeve in Superman. Or the time I ordered a DVD of this British sit-com Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married all the way from New Zealand because Gerry Butler has a part in it, ahah. Turns out to be a pretty funny show thankfully.

Contrary to what you might think, I don’t fall for actors very often. Well, you know, the whole butterfly-in-the stomach variety. In fact, I was surprised how much I was struck by Peck in Spellbound… It was a big swoon moment as I watched the way he looked at and held Ingrid Bergman… I was um, spellbound by his gorgeous face (and how his ears sort of stick out a bit), the way his dark hair kind of curl on his forehead, his deep voice. There’s also that quiet grace about him that I always find irresistible in a man. So yeah, it’s one of those rare swept-off-my-feet moments that when it happens, I kind of want to cherish it.

I can only think of a few such hypnotic moments. If you read this blog long enough, none of this is a surprise to you. Back in December 2004, it took the second viewing of Phantom of the Opera for me to fall for who else but ze Butler. It was a seduction scene when the masked genius led the young ingenue Christine to his lair. Well let’s just say she wasn’t the only one to come under his spell, ehm. A couple of years ago, watching Mr. Thornton in BBC’s North & South got me swooning over Richard Armitage. It’s a tough role to match as I haven’t been that mesmerized by anything else he’s done since (hopefully his role in The Hobbit would mean he gets more movie roles!)

Another time I recall was in Sense & Sensibility, the moment Col. Brandon was struck by Marianne’s beauty (and her singing) and the way he’d secretly steal glances from her and read to her with such affection, I will forever be a fan of Alan Rickman because of that role. Oh, and I can’t possibly leave out the moment I saw Dalton emerged as Rochester in 1983 Jane Eyre. He fell off his horse and I fell head over heels in love :) I had already fancied him as Bond, but it’s his portrayal as Rochester that did me in. There were other less-intense-but-still-memorable crushes such Gabriel Byrne in Little Women, Karl Urban in The Lord of the Rings, Christian Bale in The New World, Lee Pace in The Fall, Eric Bana in Troy, and Tom Hiddleston in Thor, to name a few.

As far as movie crushes go, seems that I always fall for either a Brit or Aussie. Even if I had no idea where the guy is from, or how obscure he was or how small a part he has in an big ensemble-cast movie, I’d end up being attracted to someone outside of the US. It’s almost a mathematical certainty (well I said almost because I did fall for the California-born Peck instead of he equally-dashing Brit Cary Grant). I don’t know if it’s because my first ever crush was my British ESL teacher, but I think the Brits/Aussie actors just have a more charming personality to go with their looks, not just in movies, but also in interviews/talk show appearances. Now, before you hurl anything at me, I’m not saying American actors aren’t attractive, in fact, some are too perfect-looking that it actually becomes a turn-off for me. Bradley Cooper, Matthew McCougnahey, Chris Pine and the suddenly buff ‘it boy’ Ryan Gosling, seem to fit into that category.

A Taste for the Obscures

Henry Cavill and Gerry Butler were unknown when I first noticed them, and a lot of my crushes are not exactly household names yet. As an actor becomes too famous though, sometimes my fascination would wear off. I kind of feel that way about Michael Fassbender now, though obviously it’s not a fault of his that he’s getting recognized for his work. Overexposure can be such a killjoy, that’s why superstars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Leo DiCaprio don’t do anything for me.

Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this. I guess Gregory Peck just inspired me to just write about other movie crushes in the past. So thanks for allowing me to indulge a bit in between my search for more Peck’s classic movies to watch, ahah.


Now your turn. Please share your own movie crushes… who’s your long-time crush and which one(s) captured your heart recently?

In light of news that Gerard Butler & Sam Worthington in talks for Hunter Killer – Top Five Fave Brit/Aussie Actors Combo

Thanks to a tweet from my friend Ted, I learned that my long-time crush Gerry Butler is in negotiation to star in a submarine thriller Hunter Killer. Per LatinoReview, the movie is based on the novel, Firing Point from authors George Wallace and Don Keith, here’s the plot:

An untested submarine captain must work with a Navy SEAL team to rescue Russia’s president, who’s taken prisoner during a military coup. The two sides team to stop a rogue Russian general from igniting World War III.

Butler is in talks to play the submarine captain Joe Glass of the USS Toledo, whilst Avatar and The Debt star Sam Worthington is being pursued to take on the role of the leader of the Navy SEAL unit, Bill Beaman. Director of Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest, Antoine Fuqua is set to direct.

Now, truth be told I’m not a huge fan of submarine thrillers. Interestingly enough, the only submarine movie I like was The Hunt for Red October which also stars another famous Scot, Sean Connery. I personally would rather see Butler in a non-military-related drama — how ’bout that Robert Burns biopic eh Gerry? — where there are more emotional eruptions than those involving weapons of any kind. But I suppose I shouldn’t complain as Butler continues to mix things up. He balances the bad-ass roles in Machine Gun Preacher and Coriolanus with a soccer comedy Playing the Field and a surfing drama Of Men and Mavericks for L.A. Confidential‘s director Curtis Hanson.

So yeah, I do like this casting combo and both are suitable for tough guy military roles. I’ve liked Worthington ever since Terminator Salvation, and though I’ve complained that he’s not expressive enough, he was rather good in The Debt and no doubt neither one of these two actors is lacking any on screen charisma. But as my friend Dezzy @ HollywoodSpy said, this better be eons better than whatever the hell Battleship is supposed to be, starring Liam Neeson and… Rihanna?? [shakes head]

Anyhoo, the news made me think of other Brit/Aussie actor combos I like in the past. I haven’t seen Warrior yet starring London-born Tom Hardy and Aussie Joel Edgerton, but I reckon that’d perhaps make my list. I think a great combo happens when both actors are able to hold their own but creates a wonderful dynamic together on-screen. Here are five that come to mind:

  • Christian Bale & Russell Crowe – 3:10 to Yuma
    I’m not even a fan of Westerns but with these two, I ended up loving this film. Crowe practically steals every scene as charming villain Ben Wade.
  • Christian Bale & Hugh Jackman – The Prestige
    I didn’t love this film the first time around, but upon second viewing I appreciated it a whole lot more. Both actors exemplify what showmanship is supposed to look like, and the twist and turns are classic Nolan.
  • Christian Bale & Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
    Yet another film where Bale is sort of upstaged by the villain, but Ledger’s The Joker pretty much outshone everyone else in this Nolan’s Batman saga. But whenever this duo face off each other on-screen, the intensity of this already thrilling film moves up a few notches!
  • Geoffrey Rush & Colin Firth – The King Speech
    This Oscar winner should also be crowned best on-screen duo of the year as their ‘royal bromance’ is just delightful to watch! If it weren’t for Bale’s tour de force performance in The Fighter (and the fact that his win was overdue), Rush deserves to take home the statue along with Firth!
  • Russell Crowe & Paul Bettany – Master & Commander
    Yes, yes, another familiar name, but really, Crowe is easily the best Aussie imports in the biz. This isn’t exactly a ‘duo’ per se, but I feel that the compelling friendship between the captain and the doctor is what gives the movie its ‘heart.’

I realize that this list might as well be called Christian Bale and his Aussie co-stars, ahah. I think Bale is always memorable even in ‘second banana‘ roles. I’m sure there are other Brit/Aussie combos in classic movies but I’m not as familiar with that genre so folks, you’d have to help me out on that one.


Well, any thoughts on this Hunter Killer project? Please also share other Brit/Aussie duo you think deserve a mention.

THIS JUST IN – Machine Gun Preacher first trailer is here!

It’s raining Gerry! I wonder if the studios are planning this, but for some reason, both of Gerard Butler‘s upcoming movies are gearing up their marketing campaign in quick succession. Just a few days ago I posted the poster for this movie, but now we’ve got a trailer. It’s about time!

I’ve blogged about this movie many times before, but if this is the first time you’ve heard it, here’s the premise:

The film is inspired by the real-life preacher Sam Childers in his book Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader hundreds of Sudanese children who’ve been kidnapped and pressed into duty as soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A.)


Wow! Just wow! I’ve always known Butler can act regardless of his recent film choices and I think this film will prove his range. Despite the lack of resemblance to the real life preacher, Butler seems to embody his tough-as-nails persona. But this is a bad ass guy with heart and the trailer shows the emotional and spiritual side too, which is what I REALLY want to see in this film. I’m hopeful that Marc Forsters will deliver something as extraordinary as Childer’s story.

Butler is joined by an excellent cast of Kathy Baker, Madeline Carroll, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon and Souleymane Sy Savane. You can read more about Childers on his official website. Oh man, I hope this will come to Minnesota when it opens in limited release on September 23!


Well, what do you think folks? Will you be seeing this one?