December 26, 2019: Actor/Actress Roles: Where Everyone Loses and Wins
For most of us who get rejected or bypassed for a job, it doesn’t feel good. Hollywood actors and actresses go through the same thing, except on a different level. Here are some of the roles they really wanted but didn’t get as well as the ones that were offered a role but passed on it. Then there’s the few gray areas and bad timing. The current example is Eddie Murphy’s commentary on how he feels like an idiot for passing up Bob Hoskins’ role as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Lesson learned and also lesson to forgive and let go.
No Hard Feelings, Sorry And Nope You Didn’t Get It
(information by Grace Gavilanes)
- Mindy Kaling wanted Maya Rudolph’s role in Bridesmaids.
- Eddie Redmayne wanted Adam Driver’s role in Star Wars franchise.
- Idris Elba wanted to play Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.
- Joe Manganiello wanted to play Tobey Maguire’s role in Spider-Man.
- Dwayne Johnson wanted to play Tom Cruise’s role in Jack Reacher.
- Matthew McConaughey wanted to play Leonardo DiCaprio’s role in Titanic.
- Miles Teller wanted to play Ryan Gosling’s role in La La Land.
- Gwen Stefani wanted to play Angelina’s Jolie’s role in Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
- Olivia Wilde wanted to play Margot Robbie’s role in The Wolf of Wall Street.
- Russell Crowe wanted to play Viggo Mortensen’s role in Lord of the Rings franchise.
- Jessica Biel wanted Rachel McAdams’s role in The Notebook.
I Guess Not, You Passed, Okay, We’ll Find Someone Else
(information by Diana Pearl and Maria Yagoda)
- Emilia Clark turned down Fifty Shades of Grey franchise that would go to Dakota Johnson.
- Reba McIntire turned down Titantic role that would go to Kathy Bates.
- Justin Timberlake turned down Rocketman that would go to Taron Egerton.
- Hugh Jackman turned down James Bond franchise that would go to Daniel Craig.
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt turned down Brokeback Mountain that would go to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
- Al Pacino turned down Star Wars franchise that would go to Harrison Ford.
- Johnny Depp turned down Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that would go to Matthew Broderick.
- John Travolta turned down Forrest Gump that would go to Tom Hanks.
- Jack Nicholson turned down The Godfather franchise that would go to Al Pacino.
- Christina Applegate turned down Legally Blonde franchise that would go to Reese Witherspoon.
You’re Not Working Right, Get Off The Set Now, Thank You
- Charlize Theron signed to do Chicago that would go to Renee Zellweger. (In her words, “I was kicked off it.”)
- Julianne Moore signed to do Can You Ever Forgive Me? that would go to Melissa McCarthy. (In her own words, she was “fired.”)
The Timing Just Wasn’t Right, So Let’s Find A Replacement
- Sandra Bullock wanted to do Million Dollar Baby that would go to Hilary Swank.
- Julia Roberts wanted to do Shakespeare in Love that would go to Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Gray Area, Not Sure What Happened, Here We Are
- Molly Ringwald turned down Pretty Woman that would go to Julia Roberts. (In her own words, “I don’t specifically remember turning it down).
- Gwyneth Paltrow turned down Titanic that would go to Kate Winslet. (In her own words, “I know that the story is that I turned it down.”)
November 17, 2019: First Seven Movie Adaptations of John Grisham Books
I listed them in the order they were released. I’d say watch The Firm, The Client, A Time to Kill first, Runaway Jury and The Rainmaker second, and last The Pelican Brief and The Chamber.
- The Firm (1993) was directed by Sidney Pollak and stars Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn.
- The Pelican Brief (1993) was directed by Alan Pakula and stars Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, John Lithgow, and Hume Cronyn.
- The Client (1994) was directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro, Mary-Louise Parker, J.T. Walsh, Anthony Edwards, Anthony LaPaglia, Bradley Whitford, and Kim Coates.
- A Time to Kill (1996) was directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S. Dutton, Ashley Judd, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Fricker, and Patrick McGoohan.
- The Chamber (1996) was directed by James Foley and stars Chris O’Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Lela Rochon, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry, and DAvid Marshall Grant.
- The Rainmaker (1997) was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and stars Danny DeVito, Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, and Mickey Rourke.
- Runaway Jury (2003) was directed by Gary Felder and stars John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and Rachel Weisz.
Movie Recommendations: Hunger Games Trilogy (2012-2015)
Quote from Hunger Games by President Coriolanus Snow:
“Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hop is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”
Director of Hunger Games: Gary Ross
Screenwriters: Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray/based from Suzanne Collins’ novels
Main Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Malcomson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, and Jack Quaid
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images
Running Time: 2 hours and 22 minutes
Director of Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Francis Lawrence
Screenwriters: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt/based from Suzanne Collins’ novels
Main Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Malcomson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Jack Quaid, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, and Jena Malone
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language
Running Time: 2 hours and 26 minutes
Director of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 : Francis Lawrence
Screenwriters: Peter Craig and Danny Strong/based from Suzanne Collins’ novels
Main Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Willow Shields, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Malcomson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Jack Quaid, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amanda Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, Mahershala Ali, Jena Malone, Elden Henson, and Robert Knepper
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material
Running Time: 2 hours and 3 minutes and 2 hours and 17 minutes
I finally watched the Hunger Games trilogy. I have to say I enjoyed all of them despite the seeming simplicity of the plot. Maybe, it didn’t come across that way in the books, but I can’t say because I haven’t read them. The combination of action within the adventures of Katniss with sci-fi elements includes enough backstory to understand the rules and situations the people of the various districts reside within Panem make this trilogy worthwhile.
The first movie begins in District 12 where we meet Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a 16-year-old girl, who takes the place of her sister Prim (Willow Shields). She is to fight in the upcoming Hunger Games alongside an acquaintance named Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) who was chosen as the boy tribute. Despite her conflicted feelings for Peeta, she leaves with him to the Capitol. Their escorts, Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) help them get ready for the opening ceremonies. After meeting some of the other tributes from the districts, they start their training. When the Game officially begins and the alarm sounds, the tributes fall one by one until there are a few left remaining. It has always been a game of survival, but whether Katniss will kill Peeta or the other way around depends on where their loyalty falls and if they actually make it to the end.
The second movie begins after the 74th Hunger Games is over. Katniss and Peeta have returned to District 12 where they are rewarded and punished for their actions. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) tells Katniss it is her responsibility to stop the unrest cropping up in the districts while on their victory tour. She must also keep up appearances regarding her love for Peeta while Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is now in control of running the Hunger Games. President Snow announces Katniss will take part in the Quarter Quell, which is a version of the Hunger Games in an effort to tarnish her image. President Snow does his best to keep her under control and when the Quell begins, it’s winners against winners in a free for all in this tropical forest. As the winners succumb to death and the dome collapses, Katniss blacks out.
The third movie begins after Katniss wakes up and is told what happened to Peeta and takes on her new role. She visits the various districts with her military escort to fulfill her duty to make propaganda videos. This time Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) is with her. With the districts fighting with the Capitol soldiers, Katniss gets caught in the middle. She finds little solace in this role of Mockingjay but agrees to go to the Capitol on President Coin’s (Julianne Moore) request to with a team of other capable fighters of Squad 451. She is the face of the revolution and remains extra cautious around everyone upon recent news from Boggs (Mahershala Ali). With Peacekeepers swarming around the Capitol, the remaining team hides underground but not to for long. Again on solid ground, Katniss, Gale, Pollux (Elden Henson), and Cressida (Natalie Dormer) find refuge in a fashion shop. Katniss and President Coin make one last attempt to overthrow the autocratic rule, but in very different ways. When she wakes up inside the Presidential mansion, learning who is in charge and who has died. The time of reckoning has come. Someone has to pay for this mess including Katniss who is sent back home to District 12. She returns where it began, in the home she lived with her family, and the field she once hunted and remembers who hunted for her.
I rate Hunger Games trilogy GREAT at 90%.
It gets FOUR FINGERS.
September 30, 2019: Five Movies I’ve Watched in the Last Two Weeks
I decided to do this a little differently. I’m going to state two reasons to see the movie and one reason that might persuade you otherwise but probably not. Then, you can decide if you want to watch them if you haven’t already. Here it goes.
Into the Woods (2014) is a movie about a baker and his wife (played by James Corden and Emily Blunt) and their quest to have a child of their own. They set off to find four items requested by the Witch (played by Meryl Streep). Adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, this musical was written by James Lapine and directed by Rob Marshall. The characters of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, and Rapunzel are integral parts of the story. It also stars Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp. It is rated PG for thematic elements, fantasy action and peril, and some suggestive material. This drama, comedy, adventure runs 2 hours and 5 minutes.
First reason to see it: the musical and singing performances
Second reason to see it: Johnny Depp as the Wolf
One reason maybe to not see it: the dimly lit scenes with the giant
Last Vegas (2013) is a movie about four friends in ther twilight years and their vacation mishaps and realizations in Las Vegas. Billy (played by Michael Douglas) invites his friends to join him for his bachelor party he’s hosting for himself. It’s their last hurrah before they’re in wheelchairs. It was written by Dan Fogelman and directed by Jon Turtletaub. It also stars Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, and Michael Ealy. It is rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. This comedy/drama runs 1 hour and 45 minutes.
First reason to see it: the Las Vegas Strip
Second reason to see it: the performance by Kevin Kline
One reason maybe not to see it: the scene with Redfoo
Under the Skin (2013) is a movie about a woman searching for answers about who she is on the roads of Scotland. The woman’s (played by Scarlett Johannson) attractiveness is all the men notice. It was adapted from a novel by Michel Faber and written by Walter Campbell and Jonathan Glazer and directed by Jonathan Glazer. It also stars Lynsey Taylor Mackay, Jeremy McWilliams, Joe Szula, Krystof Hádek, and Scott Dymond. It is rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, some violence and language. This drama, horror, and sci-fi runs 1 hour and 48 minutes.
First reason to see it: the ending
Second reason to see it: what happens after her dates get into the van
One reason maybe not to see it: the slow beginning
Sherlock Gnomes (2018) is a movie about missing gnomes and the determination of Gnomeo and Juliet (voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt) to find them with the help of Sherlock Gnomes (voiced by Johnny Depp) and Gnome Watson (voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor) It was written by Ben Zazove with story by Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook, and Kathy Greenberg. The characters were based from Rob Sprackling, Johnny Smith, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Kelly Ashbury, and Steve Hamilton Shaw. It was directed by John Stevenson. It also stars Mary J. Blige, Jame Demetriou, and Kelly Asbury. It is rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor. This animation, adventure, and comedy runs 1 hour and 26 minutes.
First reason to see it: the pure silliness of it
Second reason to see it: the character of Moriarty
One reason maybe not to see it: the gnome that doesn’t wear pants
Alpha (2018) is a movie about a young man named Keda (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee) getting separated from his father during the Ice Age on a hunting trip. It’s about his journey to find his family again in the harsh weather. It was written by Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt and story by Albert Hughes. It was directed by Albert Hughes. It also stars Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Natiassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, and narrated by Morgan Freeman. It is rated PG-13 for some intense peril. This adventure, drama, and family runs 1 hour and 36 minutes.