Five for the Fifth: DECEMBER 2014 Edition

FiveForFifth2014holiday

Welcome to FlixChatter’s primary blog series! 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.

Since this is the last FFTF of the year and award season has kicked into high gear, the questions will revolve around film awards and your choices of ‘best of’ or favorite in both films and TV. So let’s get started, shall we?

1. First off, I’m going to talk about A Most Violent Year, which was recently voted Best Picture by The National Board of Review. The NBR president Annie Schulhof was quoted as saying “‘A Most Violent Year’ is an exhilarating crime drama with a compelling story, outstanding performances and an elegant cinematic style,” per LA Times. I posted the trailer in the last Five for the Fifth post and it certainly does look VERY good, but also very intense. NBR also awarded its stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in Best Actor and Actress category respectively, two extremely talented actors who are fellow Juilliard graduates.

AMostViolentYear

I was quite surprised by this pick, but at the same time, not really. I mean, sure it hasn’t gained as much traction as other films such as Birdman, Boyhood or The Imitation Game, but writer/director J.C. Chandor was an Oscar nominee for Margin Call so this could very well be Oscar’s dark horse. I read somewhere that this film is like Wall Street meets Scarface, hmmm I probably just rent this later as it might be way too violent for me.

So what’s your thought on MBR’s pick of Best Picture? Do you predict it’ll be nominated for Oscar too?

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2. You might not know who she is yet, but I’ve mentioned Gugu Mbatha-Raw quite a few times in my blog based on her two excellent performances I saw this year in Belle and Beyond the Lights. In fact, I’d be sorely disappointed if she didn’t get at least a nomination for BAFTA’s Orange Rising Star Award next year, I mean she should have won one already by now.

I have only heard of her prior to this year from the JJ Abrams’ show Undercover that was canceled pretty quickly. I haven’t seen a single episode but I’d have watched it for Gugu! In fact, she makes my Honorable Mention on my list of 10 Actresses I’d Watch in Practically Anything.

So which actor/actress you’ve never seen prior to 2014 who left a huge impression on you this year?

3. Ok so the ‘Best of’ lists have started to pop up and though I’m still not sure what my Top 10 would look like, there is at least a few that I know WILL make the list: Belle, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men Days of Future Past.

Say what you will about Wolverine but Xavier + Magneto are what the X-Men prequels are all about for me

Xavier + Magneto are what the X-Men prequels are all about for me

Now my Top 10 is a personal one as it’s usually comprised of films that I both admire AND enjoy watching that I’d buy the Blu-ray, not something I appreciate but won’t ever want to see again. So it’s not always the most critically-acclaimed films out there, though these three are actually on Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 so far.

So I’m curious, tell me at least ONE film that surely will end up on your Top 10 of the year?
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4. Now switching gears to those that won’t make your Top 10 list, unless it’s the WORST or Most Disappointing list of the year. I was actually making a list of ‘movies everyone seem to love that leave me cold’ from classic to contemporary movies. I’m excluding 2014 films as the one film that disappointed me most hasn’t even opened yet in most cities. But if I were to include it, WILD would make the list as it just bored me to tears.

WildMovieI was flabbergasted how high the rating is for that one and the fact that it’s been taunted as an Oscar contender just boggles my mind.

Now I’m curious which critically-acclaimed 2014 movie you didn’t enjoy or disappointed you most?

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Mark from Three Rows Back!

ThreeRowsBack

Inspired by yesterday’s announcement of SPECTRE, Mark has Bond on his mind. Now this topic has been discussed before even though Daniel Craig is still under contract to do one more Bond film after Spectre. I’ve listed some of my – and my pal Ted’s – choices of who we’d like to say play 007, but hey, there’s no reason why we can’t talk about it again. Here’s what Mark’s idea of who he thinks should be considered:

I would rule out a Yank to play the part; Bond is quintessentially British.

Much as I liked him, I would have discounted Tom Hardy until I saw him in ‘Locke;’ an underrated performance full of range in my book, so he would be right up there for me. I’ve always loved Idris Elba too; that guy hasn’t found his true calling yet and Bond could well be it.

Hardy_Elba_Rocknrolla

Tom & Idris in Rocknrolla!

I LOVE both Hardy and Elba (hey both are Rocknrolla alums!), but I give Elba the edge as he’s tall. I dunno, I kind of prefer Bond to be at least 6 feet tall. Nothing against Craig as he does a great job in the role, but I wish the next Bond actor would be tower above most people. Heck I don’t care what race, I mean I think the world is ready for a Black Bond (I wanted Colin Salmon as Bond at one point), heck even Asian Bond, someone like British/Korean actor Daniel Henney who’s 6’2″ and is a decent actor. As for the argument that Bond actor should be British, I can see that and I have no problem with that though for me, if another non-Brit can pull off a British accent convincingly, it doesn’t bother me. In fact, I did put Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on my wish list.

So, Mark [and I] would like to know … who would you like to see replace Craig after he hangs up his Walter PPK?


Well, that’s it for the last Five for the Fifth edition of the year! Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! :D

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007 Chatter: Seven actors we think could play the next James Bond

In anticipation for Bond 23, a.k.a. Skyfall coming on November 9th, 2012, Ted and I are starting a new monthly series called 007 CHATTER… look for it sometime in the first week of each month.

I’ve also added a new category for this, so click on 007 Chatter on the category drop-down menu for all Bond-related posts.

A few weeks ago Daniel Craig said in an interview that he would love to keep playing Bond until the producers tells him he couldn’t anymore. Now I personally think  Craig at 44 is already showing his age, I mean he looked like he’s already in his mid 50s in most of the photos from Skyfall [like this one]. I honestly can’t imagine how old he’d look five years from now!

Anyway, regardless of when Craig will hang up his Bond mantel, we thought it couldn’t hurt to come up with a list of actors we believe would be great as the next 007. Btw, although we’ve seen some people suggesting that non-Caucasian actors should also be consider playing Bond, we actually won’t be doing that here and here’s Ted’s reasoning why [which I agree]:

Let’s be real here as much as I like to see a non-white actor playing the part, there’s no way the studio or the producers would consider it. I don’t want to sound like a jackass or anything but some of  you probably remember the uproar when Craig was cast as Bond in Casino Royale back in the mid 2000s. The media and fans alike were all over him, they called him ugly, too short, he’s blond and can’t drive stick gear and he’s white! Imagine the backlash the producers will get if they cast a non-white actor for the role. I’m being realistic here so I don’t believe we’ll ever see a non Caucasian actor as 007, well, not in my life time anyway.

So again, it’s not like we’re opposed of the idea of a black Bond, the opposite is true, but we’re just being realistic in that we don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Anyway, with without further ado, here are the actors Ted and I believe should be considered for the next James Bond, starting with the two we both absolutely in agreement with.

RUTH’s & TED’s PICKS:

Luke Evans

TED:
He’s not a household name yet but that will change when The Hobbit opens this December. He’s playing Bard in the movie and for those who’ve read the novel, you know how vital his character is to the story. Apparently Peter Jackson has expanded the role, in the novel he didn’t appear until half through the book.

I believe people will think of him as the next Bond once they see him in action, actually if you saw him in Immortals then you know he can definitely play an action hero. I think Evans has the look and acting chops to play Bond. He’s young enough and by the time Craig’s done with the role, he’ll be in a perfect age to play Bond. I say he’s a mix of Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton, two of my favorite Bond actors.

RUTH:
Aside from Immortals, which is the first film I saw Luke in, I also saw a few interviews with him and he certainly oozes charisma. Bond should be handsome but not a pretty boy that’s why I think Luke is perfect. He’s tough-looking with that manly square-jawed face, but still has that elegant quality, not thuggish the way some people criticize Craig for. Oh, I’ve also seen him in person at Comic-con (not personally, though I had a pretty good seat at Hall H during The Raven panel). Mr. Evans looked appropriately rugged ;)
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Richard Armitage 

TED:
Another actor who I think will be a household name after The Hobbit came out. He’s playing Thorin, and again for those who read the book, you know he’s pretty much the second lead in the story. I first saw Armitage in the excellent British TV series MI-5 and thought to myself this guy will be great as 007. I think he’s the combinations of Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery, but I believe he’ll be a much better Bond than Brosnan. With his deep voice and piercing blue eyes, I think he’ll be quite popular with the female Bond fans.

RUTH:
I was thrilled when Ted suggested him as I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him in BBC’s North & South. Interestingly, both him and Evans will be in The Hobbit [man, what I’d give to work for just a day on the set of that film!!] The tall, lean actor has since done mostly TV works, most notably as the baddie Guy of Gisbourne in BBC’s Robin Hood and most recently the MI-5 series where he’s very much Bond-like! Not sure if the Bond producers have seen him on that show or not, but can’t imagine they’d have to look to far for their next candidate! Oh and btw, I think he’s the most like Dalton to me: both are the same height at 6’2″ (which was the tallest Bond so far), intense with piercing eyes, AND has that irresistibly deep, raspy voice to boot!

TED’s PICKS

Joshua Bowman

I don’t think many people know this guy unless you’re a fan of the TV show Revenge. I started watching the show last year and noticed him and I thought he could be a good James Bond. He’s quite young so hopefully he’ll grow as an actor and maybe when he’s old enough, the producers of Bond films will give him a call.

Christian Bale 

Yes I know he already played another iconic character but how cool would it be if Nolan decides he wants to do a Bond flick and demands that the producers cast Bale as the next Bond? Come on now my fellow Nolan fan boys and girls, you know you’ll be jumping up and down with excitement. I don’t think I need to say anything more about why Bale will be great as the next 007, we all know he can act and also be an action hero.

RUTH’s note:
I actually suggested Bale as Bond in this post I did back in 2010. Check out the awesome fan-made video of Bale as the suave super spy!

RUTH’s PICKS

Karl Urban

RUTH:
If you’ve read my review of RED from 2010, then you know that I’ve been pushing for Urban as Bond. I first saw him in the Lord of the Rings movie, and even amongst such a massive cast, he was quite memorable. He’s also great as Kiril in the second Bourne movie and also in JJ Abram’s Star Trek. What I love about Urban — well other than the fact that he’s devastatingly handsome — is that he’s got that quiet intensity. He barely talked as the Bourne villain but he’s got such a strong screen presence that he really didn’t need to. He can also be funny as he displayed in Star Trek. But seeing him in RED makes me think he’d be perfect as Bond! Yes I know that the last Bond actor from Down Under wasn’t successful but hey, let bygones be bygones okay? I’d say give this one at least a screen test!

TED’s Note:
I like Urban but I think he’s still somehow looks too young for Bond and he needs to beef up a bit. Maybe his role in Judge Dredd will get him notice even more.

Jason O’Mara

The first time I saw O’Mara was in the ABC series Life on Mars. Though he’s playing American, right away I thought he’s a Brit. I was close, he’s Irish. Most recently he starred in the recently-canceled dinosaur sci-fi Terranova and seeing him do some of the action scenes make me think he’d be good as Bond. He’s tall and lean [ALWAYS a plus, in my book Bond should be at least 6 feet tall], rugged, but can also clean up well. I also think he’s got that effortless swagger without being cocky. If he got the job, he’d be the second Irish James Bond since Pierce Brosnan.

TED’s Note:
Good choice here since he already played a secret agent in the underrated TV show called The Agency a few years back. He might already be on the producer’s short list of actors to take over the role of Bond.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Ok, this is kind of an off-the-beaten-path choice as he’s neither British/Irish nor Australian, but hey, if he could pull off a convincing British accent, why not? Most of you know him as the king’s slayer in Game of Thrones, but I first saw him in the prematurely-canceled New Amsterdam on CBS and took immediate liking to him. Yes, he’s a blond but then again, so is Craig. I think seeing him in the Danish crime thriller Headhunters trailer recently makes me think he’s got that edge about him that’d work as Bond. I think I’d rather see Nikolaj rising out of the water in a Speedo than Daniel [ooops, did I just say that out loud?] ;)

If you select ‘Other,’ please let us know in the comments who it is.


Ok, so these are our picks. Time to discuss amongst yourself. I’m sure you all have an opinion [or two] about Bond casting :D