The Oscar statuette is the pinnacle of one’s career in Hollywood. Win one of these hallowed golden naked men - standing perfectly erect, arms folded, head high – and a star is once and forever smiled upon by the movie Gods throughout eternity.
So it might come as a surprise that the path to Oscar glory isn’t always that hard to figure out. The Academy certainly has its perennial favorite themes. While they occasionally throw viewers for a loop by making the less expected choice (American Beauty, No Country for Old Men), they have picked the predicted winner more times than not.
Baiting for Oscars has evolved into an art form in Hollywood. Actors will gladly take a pay cut in order to throw their hat into the award season competitions. With such acclaim comes a feeling of accomplishment and, in most cases, career success for years to come. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. Just ask Cuba Gooding Jr. or Mira Sorvino.
The 2008 Oscar season is already in full swing, with a few shameless Oscar bids hitting theaters this month. Yes, I’m talking to you, Will Smith and Tom Cruise. As such, we thought the timing was appropriate to take a look at Oscar baiting over the years, both the successes and the failures. Check out our Oscar Baiting Guide for more. Posted 12.11.08 by reelz
The election season may be over, but that hasn't stopped Will Smith from making a lot of bold promises. While out on the campaign trail this week to promote his upcoming Oscar-baiting drama Seven Pounds, Hollywood's top-earning actor set forth quite an ambitious agenda. Over the past few days, he:
Assured Collider that he has a "fantastic idea" for an I Am Legend prequel, involving the fall of Manhattan;
Promised JoBlo that we will "definitely" see a Hancock sequel in "a few years";
Hinted to Movieweb at the possibility of playing Barack Obama in a biopic, boasting that his ears make him a "lock" for the role; and
Bragged to Barbara Walters that there was "no question" he himself could get elected president, if he wanted to.
Next week, Smith reportedly plans to present his Comprehensive Unified Field Theory to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, at last bridging the gap between quantum physics and Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Posted 12.05.08 by reelz
When it comes to blockbuster tentpole flicks, Hollywood's modus operandi is to greenlight sequels almost immediately after the first receipts come in. But what happens when the highly-recognizable, virtually indispensable hero of said blockbuster eats it at the end of the movie? Such is the dilemma facing the producers of last year's unexpected megahit, I Am Legend. In an uncharacteristically brave move, they opted to kill off star Will Smith, a guy who just happens to be the most popular actor on the planet, in spectacular -- and thoroughly conclusive -- fashion at the end of Francis Lawrence's post-apocalyptic epic. (We'd put a "Spoiler Alert" here, but if you're one of the seven people in the country who hasn't seen I Am Legend, chances are you probably don't have internet access, either.)
Initial reports indicated that Warner Bros. intended to make an I Am Legend prequel -- seemingly the only realistic option available that would allow the studio to continue milking the franchise and not appear utterly shameless -- but now AICN is reporting (via an untested source, they caution) that they've changed course and that a sequel is indeed in the works.
If AICN's report is true, I Am Legend sequel producers have three explanations for bringing Smith back, according to standard Hollywood procedure: 1) Explain that it was all just one big, crazy dream; 2) Reveal that Smith's character, Robert Neville, has a previously unmentioned twin or clone; or 3) Have Smith only appear in flashbacks, Saw-style. Either way, we smell a hit.
What do you think the sequel should be called? Our suggestion: Live Free or I Am Legend. Posted 11.24.08 by reelz
Variety is reporting that Steven Spielberg and box office king Will Smith are in early talks to remake Chan Wook-park's Oldboy.
The gritty 2003 Korean original tells the story of a man held hostage in a cell for 15 years with no explanation. When he is suddenly released, he sets out on a brutal mission of revenge to hunt down his captors one by one.
Oldboy has grown in popularity since its release, becoming a favorite of cult audiences and midnight screenings.
Dreamworks is currently working on securing the rights for Universal to distribute.
Source: Variety Posted 11.07.08 by reelz
Forbes, which we like to think of as the Seventeen of financial magazines because of its incessant list-making, has another list: Hollywood's Influential Actors. To determine the top 10, Forbes relied on data gathered by E-Poll Market Research, a Los Angeles company that gathers information on 4500 celebrities. Apparently, 40% of those polled believe Denzel Washington is "influential," and that's good enough for the top of the list. The others, in declining order of influence, include Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, and "Julie" Roberts. Which just goes to show you, Hollywood stars don't have nearly as much influence as they're typically given credit for -- Roberts hasn't even been able to influence the creators of this list to get her first name right.
Meanwhile, where are the outspoken Hollywood stars who genuinely make an effort to influence people -- Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Leo DeCaprio, Kelsey Grammer, Arnold Schwarzenegger? The best way to be influential in Hollywood, it seems, is to make mainstream movies that do well at the box office for a couple decades or so, project a vague sense of progressive gravitas at award shows without being overtly political, don't be a woman, and most especially of all, don't be a comedian! Posted 11.07.08 by reelz
In a testament to the state of modern journalism, MTV's Splash Page is reporting what may very well be the biggest movie news in months -- or merely an unsubstantiated rumor. Addressing the state of the film industry during an interview to promote his new movie Miracle at St. Anna, star Derek Luke remarked offhandedly, "I heard they offered Will Smith Captain America.” Cue the discussion board floodgates.
If true, the bombshell does present a bold and potentially brilliant casting coup, and seeing the country's biggest action star play its definitive patriotic superhero would certainly be an enticing proposition. But is the I Am Legend star really down for the Captain America gig? After seeing colleagues Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale draw raves for playing comic book characters, he may very well want in on the fanboy action. Then again, he could still be smarting from all the negative reviews his recent dysfunctional superhero flick, Hancock, received from critics.
We'll be sure to update you as this one unfolds.
UPDATE: According to AICN, the rumor is bogus. Thanks a lot, Derek! Posted 09.08.08 by reelz
The critics are all over the map with Hancock, but the fans at the ArcLight Cinemas were more than willing to give us their first reactions.
Next week ReelzChannel's Fan*tastic Summer braves the heat with Hellboy II.
See the full summer movie schedule and watch all the trailers. Posted 07.03.08 by reelz
Tired of Will Smith's nice guy image? Ever wanted to see the Fresh Prince toss a kid thousands of feet in the air, insult an old lady or tell a fat guy to lay off the McDonalds? Well then Hancock might just be the movie for you. Posted 06.26.08 by reelz
Directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Rundown), Hancock hits screens on July 2nd. Despite what you may have heard, this one has some great surprises in store, cool action and big laughs. But don't worry, we'll keep the surprises to ourselves for now.
Reelz.com got an early viewing of Hancock this week and we've got the full Hancock review for you today.
The web is abuzz with stories that Will Smith has been outed as a Scientologist. Sites across the web are reporting that Smith allegedly funded a Scientology school and that he and wife Jada Pinkett have been secret members of the Church of Scientology for years.
While we don't usually report rumor stories here at Reelz.com, this one is interesting because of the ties it may have to the July 2nd release of Sony's tentpole Will Smith vehicle, Hancock. Reports initially surfaced that the movie was having problems and was going through reshoots. Now the June 10th World Premiere of Hancock in Sydney, Australia has been cancelled and some sites are even reporting that the movie will be pushed back from its July 2nd release date.
Although Sony is positioning the stories as merely the usual last minute issues finishing effects and the like, the recent reports of Smith's connection to the highly controversial Church of Scientology have many speculating that Sony is trying to avert the diasaster Paramount felt on 2006's Mission Impossible: III. During the promotional campaign for that movie, Tom Cruise's antics promoting the benefits of Scientology alienated many would-be moviegoers and seemed to signal the end for one of Hollywood's most reliable box office cash cows. It also effectively ended Cruise's long run with Paramount.
Since then, Will Smith has claimed the box office throne by a very wide margin. Is Smith destined for the same downfall as Cruise? Let's just hope he's not booked for an Oprah couch-jumping session any time soon... Posted 05.23.08 by reelz
We've got an early review of this weekend's biggest opening, I Am Legend!
Check it out right here!
Posted 12.12.07 by reelz