Monthly Archives: May 2014

Russell Crowe

At the moment, award season buzz is centering largely around the magnificent performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club.” The two men’s performances have reminded a lot of film journalists at how well some actors have depicted gay characters on screen over the years, so let’s take a look at some of the actors who played gay characters not only well, but tastefully and with respect.

Russell Crowe: Yes, it may come as a complete surprise to many, but the great Russell Croweonce played a homosexual character on the big screen. It was before Crowe was making Hollywood blockbusters like “Gladiator,” so people can be excused if they haven’t heard of the film, but it was in an Australian film called “The Sum Of Us.” If you haven’t seen it, then you may certainly want to hunt it down and give it a watch because directors Geoff Burton and Kevin Dowling did a pretty decent job. The film itself has Crowe play Jeff Mitchell a young gay man searching for Mr. Right. His search brings him closer to his father, Harry Mitchell (Jack Thompson), who is now in the look for Miss Right. Touching, yet entertaining, the film is just a true romantic drama.

Ian Somerhalder: Long before he was playing vampire Damon Salvatore in “The Vampire Diaries,” Ian Somerhalder appeared in the very underrated flick “The Rules Of Attraction.” The flick was closely linked to “American Psycho,” was directed by Roger Avary and never really received the recognition it deserved as its alternative style of film-making made it an absolute gem. Somerhalder played Paul Denton, a young gay college student, who was disillusioned with the ‘queens’ around him and finds himself falling in love with the troubled and nasty Sean Bateman (James Van Der Beek) who was accidentally breaking hearts right across the campus.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal: How could anybody put together a list of actors who have played gay characters without mentioning Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger? When Ang Lee first put together “Brokeback Mountain,” even he admitted he wasn’t sure how the film would be received, after all was there a market for a film about a gay relationship between two cowboys? He need not have worried as the film went on to record 100 award wins worldwide, including three Oscars. It also earned Oscar nominations for Michelle Williams and the two male leads Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Ledger and Gyllenhaal put in brilliant performances as they played Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, two young cowboys involved in a passionate yet troubled relationship.

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon: When it was first announced that Michael Douglas would be playing Liberace and Matt Damon his boyfriend, Scott Thorson, the film world scoffed. In fact, they more than scoffed because the roles both seemed so out of character for both actors that many thought the film would just not work and it was pretty much decided that “Behind The Candelabra” was going to become a car-wreck of a film. People should never have doubted the creative mind of director Steven Soderbergh because he brought out the best in both actors, so much so that film critic Adam Ross was quoted on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show as saying “Douglas was so far into character it looked like he wanted to jump Damon between takes.” So good were Douglas and Damon’s performances that both have had their names mentioned during awards season.

Sean Penn: Another actor who ended up becoming an award winner while playing a gay character was Sean Penn. Penn picked up the Best Actor Academy Award in 2009 when he appeared in Gus Van Sant’s film “Milk” in the title role – playing gay activist Harvey Milk. His fellow co-star Josh Brolin also picked up the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for playing Dan White in the film that had critics ecstatic upon its release.

Tom Hanks: The great Tom Hanks also picked up an Oscar for playing a gay character when back in 1993. He played Andrew Beckett, a lawyer suffering from AIDS in the “Philadelphia.” The film not only educated the world on how hard it is for somebody infected with AIDS, but also dealt a valuable lesson about homophobia as Beckett is forced to work with a homophobic lawyer named Joe Miller (Denzel Washington). The film may be over 20 years now, but if you have never seen “Philadelphia” then it is certainly worth taking a look at.

With so many actors winning awards over the years for playing gay characters then it may seem like Mr. McConaughey and Mr. Leto might be in a good position as we all head into Awards season.

Jennifer Aniston

Television sitcom have been a popular form of entertainment for years. Today, shows such as “Big Bang Theory” and “Two And A Half Men” constantly dominate the ratings. The popularity of these sitcom make the stars of the show become household names, so it’s not a surprise that many of them decide to try their hand at big screen films. So let’s take a look at the big Hollywood actors who started off their careers on television sitcom.

Jennifer Aniston: In the 1990s, “Friends” was the biggest sitcom on television. It seemed like everybody right around the world tuned in to see their five friends each week. It was therefore no surprise that Matt Le Blanc, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston decided to all try their hand at big screen acting. For Matt Le Blanc, it didn’t take off – Kudrow, Cox and Perry found a small amount of success but Jennifer Ainston hit the big time. While “Friends” was still airing, Aniston showed she had what it took to make it outside the television world by appearing in films such as “Picture Perfect,” “Rock Star” and “Bruce Almighty.” However, it was after “Friends” ended that she became one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and since then has appeared in notable films including “Marley & Me,” “He’s Just Not That Into Me,” “Just Go With It,” “Horrible Bosses” and one of the best comedies of 2013 – “We’re The Millers.” Yes, Jennifer Aniston is very much a Hollywood A-Lister.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was always destined to be a sitcom star. One of his earliest acting performances was in “Family Ties,” while as a teenager he became known for his role as a teenage alien in the kooky “3rd Rock From The Sun.” After the show folded in 2001, it did take Gordon-Levitt a little bit of time to establish himself as a serious actor. Roles in movies like “Mysterious Skin” and “Brick”saw him receive critical acclaim but only minimal popularity. That has certainly changed over the last few years though when he has acted in huge blockbusters like “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and  Looper.” While he has also been great in those films, he has kept the critical reception going by also appearing in “(500) Days Of Summer” and “50/50.”

Steve Carell: There is no doubting that one of the funniest men on the planet these days is actor Steve Carell. Carell had done a number of television shows over the years before he was selected to star in the American version of “The Office” playing the big boss himself Michael Scott. Since taking on the role, Carell has gone from hit movie to hit movie. He has made a name for himself in comedy circles with films like “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Evan Almighty” and “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” while more serious films like “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Dan In Real Life” and “The Way Way Back” has shown that he is an actor that is capable of so much more than just comedy. He is such a big star these days that he even got to live out one of his dreams and play Maxwell Smart on the big screen.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Yes, one of the biggest actors of today actually made his start into acting in television sitcom. One of DiCaprio’s first appearances on screen came in 1990 when NBC tried to turn the movie “Parenthood” into a television sitcom. After it failed, DiCaprio then appeared in the final season of “Growing Pains” as a young homeless person who came to live with the Beaver family. That was of course before DiCaprio wowed film lovers with his performances in films such as “The Basketball Diaries” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” Of course, today DiCaprio is still hot Hollywood property working regularly with the legendary director Martin Scoresese, while also appearing in big blockbusters such as “Titanic,” “Inception,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Django Unchained.”

Robin Williams: Perhaps one of the most famous actors to come out of a television sitcom has been Robin Williams. Over the years, Williams has appeared in iconic films such as “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Jumanji,” but it seems that most people forget that the role that made him famous was playing naive alien York in television sitcom “Mork & Mindy” which hit the airwave in 1978. His character of Mork also crossed over to be with The Fonze in “Happy Days.” You can only wonder how many people who tuned into “Mork & Mindy” would have predicted that the zany Robin Williams would have one day freaked out audiences in the chilling “One Hour Photo.”

With so many sitcom stars today considered Hollywood royalty, you can only watch the modern day sitcoms and wonder who will be the next Jennifer Aniston or Leonardo DiCaprio in ten years’ time.

Justin Timberlake

When Justin Timberlake announced that he was putting his musical career on semi-hiatus to pursue a career as an actor many laughed. They had every right to; after all many singers had tried to take that path and failed miserable, some in spectacular very public performances as anyone who ever saw “Glitter” would attest to.

On reflection, the move shouldn’t have been such a shock. After all, Timberlake had made his entertainment debut as a young star on the television show “The Mickey Mouse Club.” Even when he was at his peak with pop group NYSNC, he was making appearances in television shows including “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and “Touched By An Angel.”

Even before his first solo album in 2002, Timberlake had appeared in the Disney television movie “Model Behavior,” had an uncredited role in feature film “On The Line” and also appeared in the crime comedy “Longshot.”

Timberlake’s first starring role in a film came in 2005’s crime thriller “Edison,” a film that was well received and also saw Timberlake share the screen with acting royalty like Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. From there he soon found himself also getting good write-ups from critics for his roles in “Alpha Dog” and “Black Snake Moan.” However, the same couldn’t be said for “Southland Tales” or “The Love Guru.” The latter may have starred Mike Myers and Jessica Alba, but it is universally regarded as one of the worst films ever made.

“The Love Guru” did have a negative effect on Timberlake’s career. It seemed even a voice acting role in the popular “Shrek The Third” couldn’t really over turn the negative press that came from “The Love Guru” and soon he found himself appearing in other poorly received films like “The Open Road” (alongside Ted Danson) and the straight-to-video action flick “Next Big Thing.”

The string of bad films had started some of the Timberlake-haters saying they had been right all along and that Justin Timberlake’s film career was dead in the water. That soon changed though when director David Fincher took a chance on Timberlake and cast him as Napster creator Sean Parker in the well-received biopic “The Social Network.” Many critics referenced the fact that Timberlake stole the show with his performance and it seemed that the good press was enough to kick start his career once again.

Soon he was voicing the crowd favorite Boo Boo in “Yogi Bear” and then making the adults laugh in the underrated comedies “Bad Teacher” (with Cameron Diaz) and “Friends With Benefits” (with Mila Kunis. “In Time” saw Timberlake add science fiction to the growing list of genres that he had tackled while his appearance alongside Clint Eastwood in the baseball flick “Trouble With The Curve” while his role in the Coen Brother’s flick “Inside Llewyn Davis” showed the arthouse crowd that Timberlake does indeed have some fine acting skills. Sadly, his appearance alongside Ben Affleck in the thriller “Runner Runner” was let down by a poor script, but any decent cinema goer now knows that Timberlake has enough acting points in the bank to get over one bad role.

There is no doubting that Justin Timberlake has now made it as an actor and seeing that his last solo album was poorly received by the critics, he should be feeling very happy that he chose a career on the big screen over one behind the microphone.

Child's Pose

Summary: 60-year-old Cornelia (the phenomenal Luminita Gheorghiu) leads a life of privilege, social power and abundant wealth in contemporary Bucharest, but life is not perfect. More than anything in the world, she longs for her 34-year-old son Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache) to reciprocate her affections. But the pair barely speak, something the domineering Cornelia blames on Barbu’s live-in girlfriend. When Barbu is involved in a tragic car accident, Cornelia is thrust back into his life. Seeing her chance to regain control, she commences a frighteningly well-orchestrated campaign to save her son from prison. But Barbu, boiling with anger yet hopelessly emasculated and infantilised, refuses to play along.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Romania

Director: Calin Peter Netzer

Screenwriter: Calin Peter Netzer, Razvan Radulescu

Cast: Ifan Alexandru (Octavia), Bogdan Dumitrache (Barbu), Luminita Gheorghiu (Cornelia Keneres), Ilinca Goia (Carmen), Vlad Ivanov (Dinu Laurentiu), Natasa Raab (Olga Cerchez), Floran Zamfirescu (Domnul Fagarasnu)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification: M

OUR CHILD’S POSE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Child’s Pose review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating:  Child's Pose (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Child’s Pose′: Please check our full Child’s Pose review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Trailer:

One Tree Hill

“One Tree Hill” turned into one of the most popular television shows of the early 2000s. The show, which was created by Mark Schwahn, filled the void left by the demise of “Dawson’s Creek” and while it always seemed to skirt the tight line between soap or drama did produce some moments of good acting. With the show being off the air for a while now we take a look at what the members of the cast are doing now.

Bethany Joy Lenz: Bethany Joy Lenz played the sweet and trusting Haley James Scott in “One Tree Hill.” During her time on the show her character of Haley also made a name for herself as a singer, a career that Lenz also wanted to pursue. Since the show ended Lenz has released two albums independently – “Then Slowly Grows” (2012) and “Your Woman” (2013). She has also done some television work, appearing in the shows “Sock Monkee Therapy,” “C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Men At Work” in small roles. She has also had bigger roles in the hit series “Dexter” where she played Cassie Jollenston.

Sophia Bush: No character on “One Tree Hill” changed as much as Brooke Davis. The challenging role saw Sophia Bush go from playing a trampy High School cheerleader in the first two seasons to a gifted young business woman in the later seasons. During her time on “One Tree Hill” Sophia Bush appeared in notable films like “John Tucker Must Die,” “The Hitcher” and “Chalet Girl.” Since the show wrapped production she has appeared in the television movie “Hatfields & McCorys” and had a starring role in the short lived “Partners” alongside Brandon Routh. In 2013 she played Erin Lindsay in “Chicago Fire” which has now spun-off into “Chicago PD” in which she now has a lead role.

James Lafferty: Before “One Tree Hill” James Lafferty only had limited acting experience. Instead it was his basketball skills that won over creator Mark Schwahn, something that came in handy seeing his character of Nathan Scott started out as a high school basketballer and eventually made it to the big league in the NBA. Since “One Tree Hill” ended Lafferty has appeared in a television show called “Crisis” and also two feature films – “Lost On Purpose” (with Jane Kaczmarek) and horror film “Oculus” with Katee Sackhoff. He will also soon be seen on the big screen once again, this time alongside Skeet Ulrich in the war film “Citizen Soldiers.”

Lee Norris: Lee Norris has to be one of the luckiest cast members of “One Tree Hill.” His character of Mouth started off as a ‘fringe’ character – a lovable loser who the other characters always seemed to feel comfortable opening up to. As the show went on though the audience ended up loving Mouth and soon Lee Norris was a full-time cast member. Before “One Tree Hill” Norris had appeared in “Dawson’s Creek” as well as feature film “Zodiac.” Since the show wrapped he has appeared in one episode of “Paulilu Mixtape” and is currently filming “Gone Girl,” a feature film directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck.

Paul Johansson: Often the bad guy of a television series is the character most remembered. Actor Paul Johansson certainly had the bad guy role down pat in “One Tree Hill” when he played evil Dad turn murderer as Dan Scott. Before the show began Johansson had already put together a pretty decent acting Resume. Since the show has finished he has been one of the busiest actors. He has appeared in television shows “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Beauty And The Beast.” He has also appeared in number of television movies including “Stonados” and “House Of Secrets.” Johansson fans can also be excited by the fact that he will soon be appearing in the feature films “Dear Eleanor” (with Jessica Alba) and John Stockewell’s “Kid Cannabis.”

Chad Michael Murray: “One Tree Hill” was Chad Michael Murray’s show. In the early days the show centered completely around his character of the basketball playing writer Lucas Scott, but some off-screen wrangling saw Murray leave the show before it wrapped production in 2012. That hasn’t seemed to have affected Murray’s career and since his departure he has worked on other shows including “Southland” and “Chosen.” He has also appeared in a number of feature films including “Day One” (with Kat Dennings), the critically acclaimed “Fruitvale Station,” “The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia” (with Katee Sackhoff), “Cavemen” and “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.” He will also soon be appearing on the big screen once again in “Other People’s Children” and the new Nicolas Cage film “Left Behind.”

Hilarie Burton: The other half of “One Tree Hill’s” most epic romances was Hilarie Burton as she played the music obsessed Peyton. Before “One Tree Hill” Burton was mainly known as a VJ and she had had one small appearance in “Dawson’s Creek” playing herself. While she was working on “One Tree Hill” she put together a decent resume by appearing in feature films including “Our Very Own,” “The List,” the underrated “Normal Adolescent Behaviour,” “Solstice” and “The Secret Life Of Bees” (as part of an all-star cast including Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Dakota Fanning). Since she departed “One Tree Hill” she has appeared on television shows including “Castle,” “White Collar,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Hostages.” She has also had roles in television movies like “Naughty Or Nice,” “The List” and “Christmas On The Bayou.” Her latest film credit was in “Bloodworth” (with Hilary Duff, Val Kilmer and Kris Kristofferson) and she will soon be appearing in “Plastic Jesus” (with Mackenzie Foy and Paul Schneider.

Antwon Tanner: One of the other lucky actors in “One Tree Hill” was Antwon Tanner. Just like Lee Norris his character of Skills was a ‘fringe’ character who only seemed to be in the show for comic relief. However the character proved popular with the audience and soon he became a full cast member. Over the years before he was on the show Tanner had appeared in a number of movies including the underrated “Coach Carter” (with Denzel Washington). Since the show finished in 2012 he has also been in other movies including “One Blood,” “Percentage,” “Crush,” “The Dempsey Sisters” and “Q.” He will soon also be appearing in new movies “C.R.U.,” “7 Faces Of Jack The Ripper,” “Two Faced” and “Who Can I Run To.”

Yes “One Tree Hill’ may have finished but it seems like fans of the show will be able to watch their favorite actors on the big screen for a long time to come.

Tom Hanks

When Oscar nominations have been announced over the years Tom Hanks’ name has been read out five times. He has won two Oscars – one for “Philadelphia” and one for “Forrest Gump” – and been nominated for “Big,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Cast Away.” The mere fact that he has had his name read out five times shows just what a good actor he is, so what are the best films to sit down and watch if you want to see the best that Tom Hanks has to offer.

“Forrest Gump” (1994) – At a quick glance the film “Forrest Gump” should not have worked. The very idea of taking one character and placing him in the right place to be involved in some of the world’s most historic moments sounds like the kind of script that would be too hard to bring to the screen. That wasn’t the case though when Robert Zemeckis tackled this film, instead he made one of the finest films to ever come out of Hollwood. Aside from Zemeckis’ great work you also have a great performance by Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest Gump. Hanks brought an air of innocence as he played one of the most lovable simpletons of all time.

“Cast Away” (2000) – Hanks also brought his A-game to another film that on paper looked like it should never have worked. The idea of taking a character and placing them on an island where their only partner in conversation is a volleyball sounds like a boring kind of film, yet once again director Robert Zemeckis was up to the task. A disheveled looking Tom Hanks showed the world exactly what ‘against-type’ acting is all about, while making the scenes between him and Wilson the volleyball the kind that the audience can’t take their eyes away from.

“Saving Mr. Banks” (2013) – It’s hard to imagine that when Tom Hanks was asked to play the legendary Walt Disney in 2013’s “Saving Mr. Banks” that it was the first time that anybody had every portrayed the filmmaker on the big screen. The film followed Walt Disney’s fight to bring the film “Mary Poppins” to the big screen when her creator P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) sticks her heels in and decides things will be done her way. While Hanks’ pretty much bares no physical resemblance to Disney at all he did capture all of his mannerisms and ended up pulling out one of the surprise performances of the year. With Colin Farrell also putting in a great performance the two men and Thompson made this one of the must see films of the year.

“Captain Phillips” (2013) – Over the years Tom Hanks has revealed himself as one of the finest character actors of all time. In 2013 he was on fire delivering good performances in “Cloud Atlas” and “Saving Mr. Banks” but he saved his best for “Captain Phillips.” Director Paul Greengrass worked hard to bring the true story of Captain Richard Phillips’ clash with Somali pirates to the big screen and his leading man delivered in sensational form. Hanks was great throughout the film, but during the final half an hour of the film he gave every other actor in Hollywood an acting lesson. As the film reaches its tensest moments Hanks turns his acting skills up to a level rarely seen and enhanced the film in a way that had critics unloading the praise.

“Toy Story 3” (2010) – Throughout his career Tom Hanks has played so many unique characters that it is easy to forget that one of his best performances came when he was simply voicing a character. A lot of cinema lovers seem to have forgotten over the years that Hanks has voiced the character of the lovable toy cowboy Woody all throughout the “Toy Story” franchise. When it was announced that “Toy Story 3” was going into production a lot of naysayers decided that this would be one too many “Toy Story” films, but they proved to be completely wrong when the film exceeded all expectations and became a gripping tension filled film for children and adults alike. “Toy Story 3” wasn’t just a good film it became one of the best animated films ever made.

It is hard to sit down and look at Tom Hanks’ film career and pick just a few films that are great to watch. Hanks has built a career on making great films so whenever you see his name on a film poster you know you are about to watch something special.

The Zero Theorem

Summary: In a not-too-distant future, introverted mathematical genius Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz) is charged a seemingly impossible task: solving the mysterious Zero Theorem. Even as the assignment pushes him towards the brink of madness, Qohen waits in hope for a phone call – one that will reveal the meaning of existence.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Romania, UK

Director: Terry Gilliam

Screenwriter: Pat Rushin

Cast: Sanjeev Bhaskar (Doctor 1), Matt Damon (Management), Naomi Everson (Lacy), Rupert Friend (TV Presenter), Lucas Hedges (Bob), Madison Lygo (Bonnie), Tilda Swinton (Dr. Shrink-Rom), David Thewlis (Joby), Melanie Thierry (Bainsley), Christoph Waltz (Qohen Leth), Ben Whishaw (Doctor 3)

Runtime: 107 mins

Classification: M

OUR THE ZERO THEOREM REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Zero Theorem review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:  The Zero Theorem (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Zero Theorem′: Please check our full The Zero Theorem review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #79

Trailer:

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

Subculture Media are pleased to announce that Roadshow Films have just shared the official DIGITAL FIRST LOOK at THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1.

With this morning’s global debut of the first look at THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, audiences are given insider access to the most highly anticipated film of 2014.

Series #1 features an exclusive look at District 13’s President Coin, along with a video interview with Julianne Moore and a Q&A with director Francis Lawrence, producer Nina Jacobson, and screenwriter Peter Craig.

Additionally, get first look images and behind-the-scene stills, an interactive sneak peek at a page from the film’s script, and the official motion poster.

Head to TheHungerGamesExclusive.com for your all-access pass to the making of MOCKINGJAY. #Mockingjay

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 will be released in Australian cinemas on November 20.

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Nick and Greg take a look at new release films ‘The Zero Theorem’, ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’, ‘Godzilla’, ‘Last Paradise’ and ‘Child’s Pose’. This episode also sees Dave give a mini review of X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

Also make sure you listen for your chance to win a double pass to see The Babadook.

To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here