Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper in The A-Team

According to Latino-Review, Bradley Cooper is at the top of the list to replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Per their spot-on context, he’d be the George Lazenby to Sean Connery’s James Bond. This is hardcore rumor status, but it raises an important, inevitable question: will you accept seeing someone who isn’t Ford, claiming to be Indiana Jones on screen? The Lazenby comparison is apt (although any actor taking the whip would prefer Roger Moore as the model…) because both Connery and Ford thoroughly defined those characters in a way that makes it extremely difficult for a new actor to realize. It’s likely that a new incarnation — regardless of the actor — would be seen as a pretender. The parallels continue since Connery was replaced while still active. That would also be the case if Harrison Ford is replaced, even though it’s far easier to argue that Ford is more past his prime for running away from blowguns than Connery was (especially since Connery returned to the role almost immediately after giving it up). To that point, there’s still a chance that Indiana Jones 5 could happen with Ford as Indy, and it’s probably one of the most emotionally conflicting possibilities. As quick as any of us are to bow down, there’s also a palpable feeling that Old Ford would be replacing Young Ford and not necessarily doing it gracefully (see: Crystal Skull + 7 years). That raises the true question here: is it better to have more adventures with Indy even if […]

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Oscar Predictions 2014: Supporting Actor

The Best Supporting Actor category at this year’s Academy Awards is a tough race, because there isn’t a single nominee who doesn’t deserve to be there. All five men brought vastly different roles to the table, and it’s clear that they’re playing to win. But couldn’t the Academy have, just for a minute, thought to consider that shit and nominate James Franco for Spring Breakers? Franco’s controversial role as Alien in the equally controversial Harmony Korine film was divisive to say the least, but it’s his strongest to date. Plus, wouldn’t it have been wonderful to see that Oscar campaign go on just a little bit longer? Daydreams of what might have been aside, the talent that made the cut is tremendous. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Supporting Actor along with my predicted winner in red…

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jonah hill wolf of wall street

If there’s one thing I’ll feel is missing in tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony (even more than an award for best documentary), it’s Jonah Hill‘s name in the supporting actor category. I’ve still not seen a few of the movies represented in that group so I can’t say Hill deserves it more than those nominees, but he is my pick for the best supporting actor of last year and he certainly belongs in the bunch more than Bradley Cooper. The question is whether Hill might earn an Oscar nomination in place of Cooper, or perhaps they’d both be excluded in place of, say, James Gandolfini. Both Cooper and Hill are actors who started out in comedy who have been recognized once each for their moves into dramatic work and who now are basically back with comedic performances in contention for the Academy Award. And that’s a tough nut to crack. Comedy has always been a tough nut with the Oscars in general. It’s not ignored, not at all, definitely not as much as some would think, but it is true that what slips through is mostly hybrid movies, dramas with a good helping of comedy or drier comedies that have some dramatic elements. More common, actually, is comedic performances, especially in the supporting acting categories. That’s where we tend to find traditionally comedic talents earning nominations and often awards for providing the comic relief in a drama. Think Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Octavia Spencer in The Help and Alan Arkin in […]

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2013review_performances

Christian Bale, Sanda Bullock, Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Michael Fassbender, and Meryl Steep, because she’s Meryl Streep, have all had heaps of praise thrown their way this year by both fans and critics. They’ll continue to see even more acclaim in 2014 and beyond, but with all those fantastic movie star performances, not all of 2013′s best have gotten the attention they deserve. That happens most every year, of course. Only so many performances can be nominated for statuettes. After all, even after listing these 13, another 13 could have easily followed (it was a good year). In that spirit, hopefully you’ll share your picks in the comments section, but for now, here are 13 performances from 2013 not to forget when someone else is being played off stage for making their acceptance speech too long.

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review american hustle

It’s 1978 in New York City, and Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) is working hard to perfect the mother of all comb-overs. It’s an elaborate and time-intensive endeavor, but if he’s going to do it he wants it done right. He treats his businesses the same way, both the dry cleaning front and the illegal scams he runs on the side, and he’s a success because he works hard, does the job right, and never gets greedy. Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), his partner both in crime and in the bedroom, is a fan of v-necks and faux British accents, but she’s not too hot on Rosenfeld’s wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). Trouble arises in the tightly-coiffed form of F.B.I. agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) who busts one half of the criminal duo with the intention of coercing them into helping him take down some far bigger fish. Target number one is the easily corruptible Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) from the nearby New Jersey shore, but as DiMaso’s eyes grow at the thought of nabbing even higher profile targets the entire operation threatens to spiral out of control. It doesn’t bode well for Irving’s tenuously-constructed combover either.

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american hustle poster bradley cooper

During the production of David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, the public was been concerned with one thing, and one thing only: Bradley Cooper‘s perm. And rightfully so. Though the trailer and some stills have shown it off in context of the film, new character sheets are letting us get a look at the thing up close and personal, along with rest of the cast in all their seventies glory. American Hustle focuses on the infamous ABSCAM operation, in which a con artist (Christian Bale) and his mistress/partner in the scam (Amy Adams) are forced to team up with a federal agent (Cooper) to catch other criminals. But because this is the seventies, there is a whole lot of debauchery and side-boob going on to distract them from their goals.

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monsters unleashed 01

Two news items from the past week have me recalling a movie from nearly a decade ago: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. There was the announcement by Warner Bros. of a new animated feature based on the classic cartoon franchise, which is the obvious source of my considering Raja Gosnell’s live-action adaptations. Then there was the continued coverage of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, particularly the voice casting for its CG characters. That comic book movie is being helmed by James Gunn, who scripted both 2002′s Scooby-Doo and the 2004 sequel. I remember enjoying the latter a lot when it hit theaters, surprised that it was so much better than the misguided original and even more surprised that it was actually received worse by critics. But could I defend Monsters Unleashed today? I revisited the movie this week in the hopes of doing so, but I don’t think I can. And this isn’t some case of where my love for something as a kid turns out to be terrible after all. That’s reserved for Howard the Duck (which I still love anyway). I saw Scooby-Doo 2 in my mid-20s. No, I wasn’t high. Perhaps I was simply relieved the movie was so tied back to the initial series, Scooby Doo: Where Are You?, with its call-back of ghosts and villains, and that it was an improvement over the first movie, which had had the balls to turn Scrappy Doo into a bad guy (and featured Sugar Ray — blech). Somehow that […]

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Rocket Raccoon

We reported last week that Bradley Cooper had entered into negotiations for the part of Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy. But for anyone waiting on the results with baited breath, hoping and praying that Cooper would sign on for the part, here’s some good news (or, if you’re not a Cooper fan, horrific news)- Marvel has just offered official confirmation that Cooper will be playing the walking, talking rodent in next summer’s superheroes-in-space epic. Count me among the cautiously optimistic. Before Silver Linings Playbook, I’d be among those clamoring for a quick recast, arguing that the only thing worse than Cooper as Rocket would be having the guy from Phantoms play Batman (and we all know that’ll never happen in a million years). But then Silver Linings happened, and Cooper knocked it out of the park as a man struggling with mental illness. Kevin Feige has described Rocket as a “genetically and mechanically altered… experiment,” while Gunn called him “the heart of the movie.” If Cooper can pull off something even remotely close to what he did with Silver Linings, then Guardians might be something truly special. Although it’s also got Vin Diesel as a walking, talking tree. So I guess it was already special. Guardians of the Galaxy will be in theaters August 1, 2014.

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raccoon

The fact that Marvel was passing over some of its better known properties to do a Guardians of the Galaxy movie during Phase II of the building of their cinematic universe always looked like a head-scratcher. The Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just an obscure property, it’s a weird, obscure property. To Marvel’s credit though, they seem to have completely embraced the weirdness of this motley crew of space assholes and look to be intent on giving us an uncompromised version of them on the big screen. First, they hired the maker of some of the weirdest genre films we’ve gotten over the past few years, James Gunn, to come on and direct the film. Then they scoured the Earth for the exact right mix of sitcom actors, professional wrestlers, current big names, and surprising screen legends to make up its ensemble. The casting process on this film has seemed to take forever, but Gunn and his people knew that they were making an outside the box movie that would take some outside the box thinking, so they made the effort to make sure they had the perfect actor to get each character right, no matter what background that performer might have come from. One particular role has been left sitting, unfilled, all this time though. It’s the one casting we were most interested in hearing about when this movie was first announced, and it’s the one casting we still haven’t got any confirmation on. There have been rumors, whispers […]

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news eastwood sniper

It’s been about two weeks since Steven Spielberg dropped out of American Sniper, the upcoming biopic that will star Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal Chris Kyle. Apparently, two weeks is just enough time to line up another hugely popular director- as reported by Twitchfilm, Clint Eastwood is in talks to become Spielberg’s replacement. For Eastwood, this is a pretty big ego boost since he’s apparently the next best thing when Mr. Spielberg is unavailable. For the movie-going public, this news is slightly less terrific. Eastwood’s got a masterful eye for direction, but that masterful eye has been conspicuously absent for his last few pictures- J. Edgar, Hereafter and Invictus all fall somewhere within the ‘mediocre’ category. Perhaps American Sniper will see the actor-turned-director hitting Unforgiven-level heights (or at least Gran Torino-sized ones).

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The A-Team

Ever since The Hangover became a smash hit, Bradley Cooper has been a busy guy. So much so that he’s often rumored to be starring in far more movies than he’d ever actually be able to fit in his schedule. One rumor seems to keep hanging around though—that’s he’s going to star in a biopic of famed and then shamed cycling legend Lance Armstrong. Originally the rumor was that he could star in a project that JJ Abrams and his people were putting together based on Juliet Macur’s book, “Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong,” but even though that project is still in some stage of development, and even though there’s yet another Armstrong biopic being put together over at Working Title that’s set to star Ben Foster, the new news about Cooper possibly taking on the role comes in the form of a third biopic that’s now said to be in development as well. It’s official: we’re knee deep in Lance Armstrong.

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American Hustle

Yesterday gave us our first glimpse at the sweet ‘dos of David O. Russell‘s latest film – American Hustle. Today, we have the opportunity to witness all that greased-hair goodness in motion, and I strongly implore you to take that opportunity. Those who hit “play” on this trailer without knowing what American Hustle is about probably won’t know that much more by the trailer’s end. So here’s the scoop – Hustle is a fictional account of the ABSCAM sting operation from the ’70s-’80s, wherein the FBI and a con artist (Christian Bale) team up to take down both thieves and corrupt public officials. But if the trailer didn’t want us to know that, then it’s probably not super important right now. What is important is the performances, the style, the haircuts, the costumes and the music (which tells us everything we need to know – there will be both good times and bad times). And there’s plenty of goodness within that series of flashing images. Be on the lookout for a menacing Jennifer Lawrence, Bale playing a butt like a bongo drum, and a Quentin Tarantino-style trunk shot. There are also a few peeks at the juicier bits – guns and weeping and a bag-over-the-head-style kidnapping. American Hustle is definitely one to keep your eye on. Check out the first trailer after the break.

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American Hustle

The past three years have been very kind to David O. Russell. The director is responsible for 2010’s The Fighter and 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook, so naturally he’s stepping back into the game with a new film that combines the very best forces from both movies to contend this award season. American Hustle is set in the 1970s and ’80s in New York, which is ever-evident from this new batch of  stills, released by USA Today. The film centers on the FBI’s Abscam sting operation and will deal with government agents and conmen on both sides of the affair. Let’s talk about that perm. Bradley Cooper, who plays an “unhinged FBI agent” has a head full of curls that is just truly terrible, but the beard almost makes up for it. Almost. According to USA Today, the hairstyle was popular among ’70s professional baseball players, but that really doesn’t make it okay. Christian Bale as the greasiest Bronx conman there ever was serves up some fantastic crumpled suits in that orange-brown-putrid green color combination you just never see outside any other decade. I think those aviators paired with the combover are a nice touch, but who am I to judge? Check out one more still, after the break.

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Hangover Part 3

Summarizing the plot of a movie like Hangover 3 is a little pointless. Let’s face it, the plot is pretty much here just to get us from one joke to the next and to throw in some hijinks along the way. So Alan’s (Zach Galifianakis) been off his meds for six months, which causes typical Alan behavior which leads to the death of his father due to a stress-induced heart attack. The Wolfpack is called in to help stage an intervention, and Alan agrees to go to rehab in Arizona if Doug (Justin Bartha), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) will drive him there. On the way, they’re kidnapped by a kingpin named Marshall (John Goodman) who’s looking for a fresh-from-escaping-Thai-prison Chow (Ken Jeong). Marshall keeps Doug (of course) and sets Alan, Phil and Stu free to find Chow and bring him back to swap him for Doug. That’s pretty much the gist of it. If it sounds familiar that’s because these films have never made it huge point to stray from the formula. The second entry is nearly a carbon copy of the first, but while this one goes slightly farther off the reservation, poor Doug is still missing for much of the film and they’re chasing Chow yet again. If you loved the first two, don’t worry, you’ll feel right at home with number three.

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LilyCollins

What is Casting Couch? An attempt at keeping you in the loop regarding all of your favorite actors’ careers. Today we’ve got new jobs for lovely ladies Emilia Clarke and Alison Brie as well as lovable lads Daniel Radcliffe and Logan Lerman. The pre-production history of the film adaptation of author Seth Grahame Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is a long and troubled one. To the point where you basically wish Regina George could tell Hollywood to stop trying to make the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies thing happen. But, alas, it looks like the movie has emerged from development hell into development purgatory once again. Variety is reporting that this time around they’ve attached Lily Collins to star as the Elizabeth Bennet character, with Charlie St. Cloud helmer Burr Steers apparently on board to direct. Here we go again…

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director_spielberg

Briefly: Well, this is a nice surprise. THR reports that Steven Spielberg has quietly lined up his next directorial outing, a real feat considering the heat the film already has on it. The outlet shares that Spielberg will next helm an adaptation of American Sniper,  the true life tale of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle that Bradley Cooper has long been developing as producer and star. While the film was already compelling enough when Cooper signed on back in May of last year, with Kyle’s career distinction of  recording more career sniper kills in United States military history than anyone else (160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills), the story toook a decidely tragic turn when Kyle was shot and killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran back in Februrary of this year.

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Bradley Cooper

After the swirling personnel changes hitting Lynne Ramsay’s Gavin O’Connor‘s Jane Got a Gun, it looks like the dust has settled enough to actually make the movie (two weeks into shooting). Jude Law left just as O’Connor was rushed into the director’s seat, and now according to Deadline Hollywood, Bradley Cooper has filled that villainous vacancy. It’s going to be fun imagining all the alternative universe versions of this film (even the ones that were never set up) but it’s difficult to parse a lineage like Michael Fassbender to Jude Law to Bradley Cooper. All three have their own skills, but it’s hard not to miss Fassbender — especially in a Western black hat situation — but Cooper is far better than a warm body, and that’s what the production very well could have expected. Now they have an Oscar nominee to contend with, and it’s great to see this promising flick back on track.

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PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

Note: Andrew Robinson’s review originally ran during TIFF 2012, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines is broken up into three chapters. We open with Luke (Ryan Gosling) coming back into town with the circus and finding out that he has a son. He decides to stick around, but since he’s unable to make a living to support his family, he begins robbing banks using his skills as a professional motor bike rider. The narrative is then handed over to Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), a police officer heading into politics and struggling with family matters. The film takes its time in making sure that we get a good grasp on each character as there’s very little overlap in screen time between each. The reckless rise of Gosling’s bank robbing spree and the troubled rise of Cooper’s political/social standing in the world parallel one another beautifully. What the film truly discusses is what someone is willing to do selflessly for others. While, morally, Cooper and Gosling’s acts are complete opposites of each other, their motivations start out in the same place, the intention to provide for their family. Luke’s robbing banks was never about himself; he never wants to take credit for them, reflecting his clear shame. Cross’s actions are one of motivations head-butting his own desires, even at the expense of his son’s affection.

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The Place Beyond the Pines

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Want to see Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines for free? While also wearing a shirt from the film? And jamming out to its soundtrack? And decorating your home with its (Ryan Gosling-heavy) poster? Have we got a present for you! One person will win our The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack, which includes a $25 Visa Gift card to see the film in theatres, a t-shirt, a poster, and a copy of the film’s original soundtrack (with score by Mike Patton). In addition to Mike Patton’s score, the album features tracks by Vladimir Ivanoff, Arvo Park, Bon Iver, Ennio Morricone, and more. The Place Beyond the Pines, written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder; directed by Cianfrance; and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta, will hit limited release on March 29, with a nationwide release to follow on April 12. Hit the break to read our very precise, meme-based, social media-fueled instructions on how to win your very own The Place Beyond the Pines prize pack (cool pictures of said prize pack included).

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The Hangover Part 3

It should come as no surprise that the first teaser trailer for this summer’s The Hangover Part III isn’t so heavy on the plot – after all, who cares about the plot when Todd Phillips’ final entry into his trilogy of idiocy just threatens to blow shit up, smother monkeys (not a euphemism), and get Ke$ha-style wasted? Let’s get stupid. Witness (some of) the mayhem after the break.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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