The Best Performances of 2014

Selma trailer

The right director and the right script don’t mean anything without the right actor. Performers are the ones who bridge the gap between the minds behind the camera and the ones in front of the screen. It is their personalities that draw us in, their expressions that tell the story, and their faces that we remember.

There were no shortage of great performances this year, across all genres and all budgets. Inevitably, a few stood out above the rest. See our list of the best performances of 2014 after the jump. Read More »

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VOTD: 9 Kisses, Video Series That Encompass Acting in 2014

9 Kisses

As the end of the year approaches, critics and awards voters everywhere are scrambling to put together their lists of 2014′s best performances. But the New York Times has outdone them all by actually getting the brightest talents of the year in a room together — and then asking them lock lips with one another.

The 9 Kisses video series pairs off 18 of the year’s best actors, ranging from established A-listers (Reese Witherspoon) to recent breakthroughs (Jenny Slate). Each couple plays out an intimate moment in a public setting at night, though the details within those parameters vary wildly. Some of the kisses are passionate and warm, others are awkward or funny. Watch the 9 Kisses videos after the jump.  Read More »

Selma trailer

In the US we’ve just seen the sad turnout for a midterm election in which the under-30 crowd accounted for only 13% of voter turnout, and the 30-44 age group was only another 22%. The 45-64 year olds turned out in far greater numbers — more of that age range than of everyone younger combined. Naturally, election results swing to the interests of that one voting bloc, and that bloc does not have the interests of everyone in mind.

So it’s a good time to be reminded that some voting rights were hard-won and should be used, no matter how cynical one may be about the process. (I speak as someone who is very cynical about the process.) In Selma, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film follows the assassinated civil rights leader’s organization of three marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, meant to protest unjust voting restrictions. Like other Civil Rights Movement actions, these marches faced violent opposition, but also raised awareness of the inequality suffered by African-Americans. Watch the first Selma trailer below.

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A Most Violent Year trailer

Jessica Chastain will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in a few days, but that’s actually just one of two big premieres she has this week. The other is J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year, which makes its worldwide debut at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles on Thursday.

This one puts her with Oscar Isaac as a married couple struggling to grab ahold of the American dream in 1980s New York City. He’s an immigrant businessman, and she is his well-connected wife — who it seems may be even more of a schemer than he is. David Oyelowo, Albert Brooks, and Alessandro Nivola also star. Watch two new A Most Violent Year trailers after the jump.

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martin-luther-king

The summer movie season is just about wrapped up now, which means it’s time to look ahead to the prestige dramas of fall and winter. One of the most intriguing titles coming our way in the next few months is Selma, about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s fight to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

David Oyelowo plays the civil rights icon, with a huge supporting cast that includes Carmen Ejogo (as Coretta Scott King), Tom Wilkinson (as President Lyndon B. Johnson), Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Cuba Gooding Jr., Common, Wendell Pierce, Lorraine Toussaint, and many more. Hit the jump to see the first Selma movie images.

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Agent Kallus Star Wars Rebels

Just when you thought we’d met all of the major characters in Star Wars Rebels, there’s another bad guy to introduce. His name is Agent Kallus and he’s voiced by David Oyelowo. Kallus is described as a “Rebel Hunter,” a member of an internal group whose only purpose is to find and exterminate enemies of the Empire. Which basically means Rebels, like our stars. And some Jedi as well, I’d imagine.

Below, check out a full video introduction of the character. Read More »

MLK Biopic ‘Selma’ Set for Christmas Release

martin-luther-king

Another high-profile prestige pic looks to be jumping into this year’s awards race. Paramount Pictures has just set Selma, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic being directed by Ava DuVernay, to open this Christmas.

David Oyelowo leads the drama as the civil rights icon. Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, and Carmen Ejogo are also among the cast. Get the latest updates on the project after the jump.

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Vader Palpatine

The biggest fun piece of Star Wars Episode VII speculation this week centered on the villains. Star Wars website MakingStarWars ran an elaborate rumor about the nature of the film’s bad guys, only to have the statement refuted by another site, TheForce.net. The latter said the first rumor was 100% inaccurate… but J.J. Abrams also said Khan wasn’t in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Which is why, at this point in the game, it’s hard to take anything as true. Even quotes from the filmmakers themselves could by lies this far out, which is why Star Wars fans have to have their rumor deflector shields up at all times. Unless it’s reported by StarWars.com, it’s a rumor, no matter if you read it here, on a Star Wars fan site, or anywhere else.

That said, a new wrinkle to that villain rumor mill has now been unearthed. Latino Review claims the original rumor, while mostly false, does have a few very important pieces of truth in it. What are they? We’ll reveal those potentials spoiler below. Read More »

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