Five for the Fifth: MAY 2014 Edition

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Welcome to FlixChatter’s one and only 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.

1. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Well, per tradition on the Fifth of May, I always feature a Mexican actor/actress and for some reason I have not featured Salma Hayek before. I always think she is one of the most beautiful actresses ever, her body also seems to defy the law of physics.

SalmaHayek

Though I haven’t seen too many of her films, she’s definitely got screen presence. I remember seeing her for the first time in Desperado with Antonio Banderas. I still need to see her Oscar-nominated role in Frida though. I’m curious about her next project The Prophet, which is an animated feature inspired by the classic book by Kahlil Gibran.

What’s your favorite Salma Hayek film?
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2. Well, since it’s still May 4th aka Star Wars Day and it’s only 5 days away since the news broke, so I gotta have one related question right? Besides, the buzz surrounding Star Wars Episode VII will probably never die down until its release date in December 2015. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of this franchise, I’m mostly just curious about the cast as I know it’s a pretty big deal and it has a massive potential to launch/boost the career of the younger actors involved. Besides, even if they’re not a huge fan of the franchise, surely they’re excited to be working with the original actors like Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. So the new cast members are: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von SydowI found this image on Twitter with the names of actors listed, which helps tremendously.

StarWarsEpisodeVII_CastPicWithNames

And of course it doesn’t take long for someone to create a fan poster with the old and new cast 😀

StarWarsEpisodeVII_FanMadePoster

So it seems that the two actors rumored to be in the running who I wish were true: Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Cumberbatch, are NOT part of the cast. But hey, nice to see Oscar Isaac and Andy Serkis on here, I’m a big fan of their work and I hope this will only boost their career even more, especially Isaac’s.

So are you happy with this announcement? Which actor/actress you wish had been cast in Star Wars Episode VII?

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3. Ok, switching gears to a black & white independent film that’s been garnering all kinds of buzz recently called Ida.

IDA_FilmPoster

Poland, 1962. Anna, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent, is a novice. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna about her Jewish roots. Both women start a journey not only to find their family’s tragic story, but to see who they really are and where they belong. They question what they used to believe in. Both of them are trying to go on living but only one eventually can.

Directed/co-written by Pawel Pawlikowski, it stars Polish actress Agata Trzebuchowska in her debut film. I actually heard film critic David Edelstein reviewed this film on NPR last week where he lauded the film and Agata’s performance, and I just had to check out the trailer:

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I literally got goosebumps just from watching the trailer. It’s been winning a slew of film festival awards all over the world, I sure hope it’ll make it over here to my city.

What do you think of Ida? 


4. Last week I heard news that Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt are teaming up again since they did Mr & Mrs. Smith back in 2005. The details of the new project is still not revealed yet, but according to Variety, it’s based on something Jolie’s written. The two seems to have been busy working on their own projects for the past decade. Pitt won his first Oscar as producer of 12 Years A Slave earlier this year and Jolie’s been busy working on the Lou Zamperini’s biopic Unbroken that’s set to open this Christmas.

Jolie-Pitt-Collaborating

Now, it made me think of other actor/actress couple who’ve worked together and whether it’s something I like to see on screen. Of course it’s nothing new, celebrity couples like Lawrence Olivier & Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor & Richard BurtonHumphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall during Hollywood Golden Age, as well as contemporary ones like Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks and former couples Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise, Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins, etc. have worked together, sometimes in multiple movies. I think my favorite real-life couple (the two were still married at the time) pairing up in films is Emma Thompson & Kenneth Branagh in Much Ado About Nothing.

What do you think of Jolie-Pitt’s teaming up again and/or which other real-life couple’s collaboration are you a big fan of? 

5. Last but not least, I’m introducing a special guest on today’s Five for the Fifth. From time to time from now on, I’ll invite one of my favorite blog friends to come up with one of the questions. This time, we’ve got Terrence from The Focused Filmographer as a special guest!

His question is inspired by the launch of FOX’s 24 series which he’s super excited about. The 12-episode “event” series 24: Live Another Day kicks off with a two-hour premiere on Fox starting Monday 8/7c and it’s set in London. Of course Kiefer Sutherland is back as counter-intelligence agent Jack Bauer, the agent with nine lives I’d say, as like James Bond (same JB initial too, a coincidence? I think not) he will never die!

24LiveAnotherDay

The movie version has been in limbo for some time since the show ended in 2010. Seems that TV is where it’s at right now anyway, with studios launching TV shows alongside their movies. Both Marvel & DC are launching shows like Gotham and Agents of Shield to expand the universe. 24 director John Cassar said this via THR: “I think 24 is probably on the edge of a new wave, and that new wave I think is you’re going to see more and more television shows coming back because for a lot of people it’s new,” Clearly, with Veronica Mars movie and apparently a revival of NBC show Heroes is coming in 2015 (per THR), this trend is definitely catching on. 

So which TV shows do you want to see a comeback, whether as a special TV event or a movie format?


Well, that’s it for the May 2014 edition of Five for the Fifth, folks.

Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀

Five for the Fifth: NOVEMBER 2013 Edition

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Hello folks, welcome to the second to last Five for the Fifth of 2013!

As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item, observation, trailer, actor/director spotlight, 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. As you know, I have a penchant for the Scots, but it’s not just limited to men. Today’s birthday girl is Tilda Swinton, who still looks youthful at 52. The chameleon thespian is perhaps the most talented Scottish actress working today, and she came from a prestigious Scottish family. In fact, her family is one of the oldest in Scotland. Katherine Matilda Swinton is the daughter of Major-General Sir John Swinton, whose ancestral home has been within the family since the 9th century.

TildaSwintonBdayHere are a couple more interesting trivia you might not know about miss Swinton:

  • Gave birth to twins, a daughter named Honor Byrne and a son named Xavier Byrne, in November 1997. The father of her children, John Byrne, is a Scottish artist and writer.
  • Since 2004, she has been in a relationship with Sandro Kopp, a painter from New Zealand.
  • Spent two years in South Africa and Kenya as a voluntary worker in children’s schools, before studying at Cambridge. Attended West Heath Girls’ School, with Princess Diana as one of her classmates, and later Fettes College.

I still need to see more of her work (esp. We Need to Talk About Kevin, but so far my favorites would be her Oscar-winning performance in Michael Clayton, though she was fantastic playing larger-than-life characters like the White Queen in the Narnia films and the androgynous angel Gabriel in Constantine.

I can’t wait to see Only Lovers Left Alive, which I’ve mentioned in this post a while back. I mean the cast alone is a reason to see this, and I love the pairing of Tilda and rock-star vampire Tom Hiddleston! We finally got a trailer, check it out:


What’s YOUR fave role of Tilda Swinton, and are you looking forward to this film?


2.  A couple of films about racial equality and slavery have been all abuzz this year, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, 12 Years A Slave. But this one comes from a female perspective.

Belle_filmposter
BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.


I don’t know if this one would open anywhere near me but I’d be sure to rent it. I haven’t seen English actress Gugu Mabatha-Raw in anything yet though I have heard of her, and the rest of the cast looks great, esp. Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson. Matthew Goode also has a brief role as Belle’s father.

What do you think of this one folks?


3. I know a lot of people are hugely anticipating the upcoming Star Wars movie. I’m not really one of them, I mean I’m just blase about the whole thing, but depending on the cast, my interest level might vary.

ChiwetelEjioforSWcasting

Well, now the rumor mill of Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s casting got started when a Times journalist Rhys Blakely met him on the lobby of Bad Robot production on his way to interview J.J. Abrams for his new book that’s got nothing to do with Star Wars. But of course, since casting has been underway for Episode VII, naturally Blakely couldn’t help inquiring about that to Abrams.

As quoted in SlashFilm, here’s what happened:

He looks at me, dead-eyed. “I can’t discuss casting,” he says. “But he’s a very talented gentleman.”

Not exactly a denial is it, and it’s not like Abrams has another HUGE film he’s working on and I doubt he’d cast the Oscar frontrunner for 12 Years A Slave for a TV project. I sure hope this wouldn’t be just a rumor. I know the casting rumor about Benedict Cumberbatch has been debunked but I still wouldn’t rule it out yet. Boy, how I’d LOVE to see the two of them together again in a movie!

What do you think about this casting rumor folks? Who’s on your wish list to be cast in this movie?


OscarSeason4. Timing is everything the say. It couldn’t be more true when it comes to a film’s release date in terms of its Oscar chance. I’m often baffled about how the whole ‘release date’ strategy work in Hollywood, though every cinephile knows the crucial role it plays for any film that wants to be considered for Best Picture. I guess that explains why the award-contenders often get released after Labor Day. Of course there are always exceptions in everything, but according to whowonOscars.com, more than 1 in 5 nominees is released in December and based on the past few years, winners tend to release around 240 days before the ceremony. Interesting stuff eh?

Well, you might’ve heard of the release date switcheroo for Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. It was supposed to open in November, but then there were reports that it’d get pushed back to next year, perhaps in line with Cannes Film Festival in May. Well, now it’s back in 2013 timetable, Christmas day to be exact, the same time as another Oscar contender American Hustle. Now, it’s George Clooney’s equally-star-studded film The Monuments’s Men that’s getting pushed to 2014. According to L.A. Times, the actor and director said that the special effects wouldn’t be completed in time for its December release. “If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy,” he reasoned.

WolfOfWallStreet_TheMonumentsMen
Well, I should think that Leonardo DiCaprio is probably smiling ear to ear now that The Wolf of Wall Street is back on Oscar race. Though from watching the trailer, I think that it increases more chances that Matthew McConaughey might get double nomination, as he’s got three solid performances in MUD, The Dallas Buyer’s Club and the one with Leo. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets one nomination each in the lead and supporting category.

So what are your thoughts about the two films above and the whole Oscar + film release date strategy?


5. Now for the last film I always like the get in the spirit of movie recommendations (or warning) amongst movie fans. Now that we’ve only got two months to go in 2013, most likely you’ve got an idea at least a few films that might end up in your Best or Worst list. I know for me some of my Movie of the Month inductees like Gravity, 12 Years A Slave might end up on my Best list and Die Hard 5 and Gangster Squad would surely be in my WORST. Fortunately I haven’t seen too many stinkers as I purposely avoid them, ahah.

Well, now my last question to you is: Name at least two films you think would be in either BEST or WORST list, or both.


That’s it for the NOVEMBER 2013 edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these subjects.