Jared Leto Cast as Hugh Hefner, Every Method Actors Dream Role

How method will Leto get when crawling into the skin of a millionaire playboy?


How method will Leto get when crawling into the skin of a millionaire playboy?

Jared Leto is a peculiar pop star.  During the 2000s, he had the reputation of a good musician with a bad acting problem.  Since he secured an Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, it seems like Leto is being cast in every big studio production since.

Look, I don’t hate Jared Leto.  Requiem for a Dream and Dallas Buyers Club are two great films with incredible performances from Leto.  However since all the horror stories of his method acting for the Joker in Suicide Squad, and then his performance being one of the most laughable interpretations of the clown prince of crime left a bad taste in my mouth.  When news broke of Leto actually blinding himself for the production of Blade Runner 2049, I’m pretty sure my reaction was “okay… and?”

Now that he is stepping into the shoes of the most notorious playboy on the planet, the world needs to brace itself for whatever method acting hijinks Leto is going to get himself into.  The project will be helmed by Brett Ratner, who has been eyeing the project since 2007. He and Hef have reportedly been friends for a long time, so hopefully that will lend some authenticity to the role.  Just the thought of Jared Leto playing the sex icon in his later years makes my skin crawl.

I hope this projects goes well.  I hope Jared Leto is able to add another great performance to his portfolio.  Ever since his Oscar, he has churned out some pretty laughable material.  To quote the ultimate joke from the latest season of Bojack Horseman, Honeydew is like the Jared Leto of fruit; the worst part of everything it’s in.

Movie Critics: Stop Spoiling Movies in Your Reviews

Have you ever considered that maybe audiences want to be surprised by what they see when they go to the movies?

Have you ever considered that maybe audiences want to be surprised by what they see when they go to the movies?

This morning, the review embargo for Blade Runner 2049 lifted and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. After a strange embargo pattern that included filtered screenings and movie critics having to sign NDAs before seeing the highly anticipated sci-fi sequel, Warner Brothers lifted the current embargo for well-known publications and big movie blogs to talk about it (though smaller publications and blogs will have to wait until next week to talk about the movie).

But out of all the reviews for Blade Runner 2049 published on various sites this morning, the most noticeable one came from Variety (which we will absolutely not link), which spoils various plot points in the movie; after a few paragraphs, I had to close out the link.

With a movie like Blade Runner 2049, which is beloved by movie buffs everywhere, it’s disappointing that a publication like Variety, a well-respected trade publication read by millions, would post a review filled with spoilers; heck, even if the review had just one spoiler, that’s still too much given the secrecy around the movie.

Look, I understand being a movie critic has great perks. We get to see movies before they’re released, and discuss why we liked or didn’t like them. From acting, to directing and all the technical aspects in a movie, critics have plenty to talk about as far as what the movie’s pros and cons are. Sure, it’s fine to talk about a movie’s story, but don’t go into full detail. Even if you just repeat the synopsis of provided by the studio, that’s still MUCH better than talking about plot points that give away the movie’s twists and turns.

Sadly, this trend of reviews that spoil movies is becoming a big problem, as sites continue to compete with each other when posting articles about hot topics that will guarantee the site clicks.

But here’s something a number of movie critics at various publications could and should do: Stop spoiling movies in your reviews because it makes you look like an asshole.

Review: ‘American Made’ is a Hit Tom Cruise Film Through and Through

A pilot’s career takes flight when he is launched into the world of covert CIA operations and drug smuggling.

A pilot’s career takes flight when he is launched into the world of covert CIA operations and drug smuggling.

RATING: ★★1/2 (out of four stars)

Tom Cruise is one of the most prominent faces of Hollywood.  From sliding across the floor in Risky Business to scaling building in Mission Impossible, audiences are more than familiar with his work.  While Cruise has seen most of his success in the 80s and 90s, he has seen mild success as of late with films like Edge of Tomorrow and Jack Reacher. His latest film, American Made, hit theaters this weekend and it is a welcome addition to his impressive portfolio.

Following the story of Barry Seal, who goes from a pilot for the TWA to a reconnaissance pilot for the CIA to a drug runner for the Columbian Cartel.  The movie is as fast paced as that synopsis makes it sound.  This film takes place over the course of several years, but things evolve so rapidly it feels like a couple days.  While most movies might get derailed by such fast pacing, American Made is better for it thanks to the adept directing style of Doug Liman (the Bourne Trilogy).

This is a Tom Cruise movie to down to every beat.  It’s flashy, action packed, and Tom Cruise is able to switch from serious to aloof at the snap of a finger.  This is one of the better roles Cruise has taken on in recent years.  The role demands a certain charming cockiness in these high stakes hijinks that only Cruise could provide.  While Cruise is top notch, the rest of the cast falls flat by comparison.  Domhall Gleeson (The Revenant) plays the CIA agent “Schaffer”, who seems hollow and unconvincing in most of his scenes.  Sarah Wright (Walk of Shame) as Barry’s wife is outright laughable with the delivery of a bunch of her lines.  These performances add to overall fun nature of the film, but do not stand out as an attractive quality of the film.

The film takes place in the late 70s and early 80s, and the film lends itself to this aesthetic from its opening logos.  One thing that sets this movie apart from other movies based around the drug cartel is they are quit heavy handed about the criminal aspects of the film.  That is not the case here, as the cartel lends itself to more hijinks than drama.  The cinematography and editing sells this film as one of the most convincing period pieces of recent memory.  The movie makes use of historical footage to ground scenes in a timeline with the war on drugs, which breathes life into the period not seen in any movie like this.  While some parts of the production can seem jarring as it’s not implemented in movies nowadays, it adds a degree of realism to the production value of this movie.

American Made is overall a solid film Cruise and Liman can add to their already impressive repertoire.  The film is fast paced and fun, and has an attractive aesthetic.  Cruise provides a stellar performance that helps this film standout from other cartel movies.  It hits theaters this Friday, and is definitely worth checking out!

Get Your Halloween Fix at The Belcourt

If you’re looking for scares to go along with a good time, The Belcourt is the place to be next month.  

If you’re looking for scares to go along with a good time, The Belcourt is the place to be next month.  

It’s no secret that all of us here at 615 Film love The Belcourt Theatre; you’ll often find someone here on our staff visiting the nonprofit film center once a week or so.

With that said, October is a special month at The Belcourt Theatre. Aside from the new releases coming to the venue next month (one of which is Oscar front-runner The Florida Project), The Belcourt celebrates Halloween every year by showing off horror classics on the big screen all month long.

Below, we highlight three events you should attend at The Belcourt next month that are worth your time and money. If you’ve never been to the The Belcourt, make no mistake: it’s the place to be to watch and celebrate the horror genre every October.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that if you plan on attending any of these special events, you should buy your tickets early because all of these are a near-guarantee to sell out.

Friday the 13th – October 13 & 14

What better way to honor one of the best slasher series of all-time than by seeing the original 1980 horror classic on an actual Friday the 13th? Part of The Belcourt’s ongoing Midnight Movies series, if you’ve only seen Friday the 13th on television, we encourage you to journey on over to Belcourt Ave and visit Crystal Lake on the big screen on the movie’s special day.



12 Hours of Terror – October 21 at 10PM until October 22 at 10AM


The Belcourt’s annual tradition of non-stop horror mayhem continues, as the venue will show off seven movies throughout the night for the price of only $25. If you’re up to the challenge, we recommend you take part in one of the best events the nonprofit center puts on every single year. Side note: five of the seven movies will remain a secret until the movie begins playing. Who doesn’t like surprise showings?



The Rocky Horror Picture Show – October 27, 28, & 31

What better way to cap off Halloween than by watching the beloved horror parody that’s considered one of the best cult movies ever? Part of the Midnight Movies series at The Belcourt, along with a special showing on Halloween, all three showings of this screwball musical are sure to be packed with fans singing along with the movie’s hit moments. If you love this classic, and its iconic star Tim Curry, this is a must-see at The Belcourt.


The Top Five Oscar Contenders Hitting Theaters this Fall

Oscar season, the most wonderful time of the year, is finally here.

Oscar season, the most wonderful time of the year, is finally here.

Ah, Oscar season is upon us. Some years, there are clear choices that sweep all the categories, and other years, the race is completely wide open. 2017 is one of those years where there is no clear front-runner for Best Picture right now. Personally speaking, I love it whenever there is an open race because anything can happen and there are plenty of surprises. This list is for the top five movies coming out this fall, where all of them have a considerable chance to land a Best Picture nomination.

5. Blade Runner 2049

Okay, I’ll admit: this one is a bold prediction. But there is just SO much talent on screen and behind the camera, so there’s no way that Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t get at least a few technical nominations (like Best Cinematography). But on the flip side, I also think that there’s a small chance Blade Runner 2049 could get a Best Picture nomination and a Best Director nomination. But time will tell once the race takes shape near the end of the year.

4. The Florida Project

The buzz around The Florida Project has been very promising. With a current Metascore of 92 from 12 critics, if anything, A24’s latest will be another critical darling. But still, Willem Dafoe is a likely shoe-in for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, and once the movie is released in late October, don’t be surprised if this jolts to the near-top of front runners for Best Picture.

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Loved by both audiences and critics (to an extent) at the early festival circuits, this dark comedy could be the biggest surprise come awards season. So far, a substantial amount of praise is being given to the entire cast (not to mention the directing and writing seem very promising). Once the awards season takes shape, I can see this film nominated for every category that’s not technical. But hey, the great thing about the Oscar race in unknown years is that it’s ever-changing.

2. The Post

On paper (pun-intended), Steven Spielberg’s The Post is the most stacked film of all the releases coming out this fall. With the legendary director behind the camera and Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep leading the cast, there’s a good chance The Post could sweep the Oscars. Special things tend to happen when Spielberg and Hanks team up on a project, so yeah, we can’t wait for this one.

1. Call Me by Your Name

Since the beginning of the year with the Sundance Film Festival, no film has received more buzz than Call Me by Your Name. Based on the early, rave reviews, Armie Hammer will almost certainly receive a Best Actor nomination. Right now, I predict it will get six or seven nominations, including Best Picture.








Liam Neeson Says He has a Few Action Movies Left in Him

But do we really want to see him play the same character again?

But do we really want to see him play the same character again?

Liam Neeson is on the back-end of his career. The 65-year-old actor heavily gravitated to action films in the early 2000s and stayed in that genre after the critically-acclaimed Taken in 2008. First reported by New Magazine, Neeson was asked earlier this month whether his next films, The Commuter and Hard Powder, would be his last in the action genre. Neeson responded, saying, “They’re still throwing serious money at me to do that stuff.” Later on, he said, “When I was in the gym this morning, I thought, you know, I’ve got two more years left.” In the past, Neeson has hinted that the end of his action roles is on the horizon. However, earlier this year he expressed that he still loved doing the stunt work in action films.

The real question is: Do we really want to see him play the same character again? With the Taken franchise, Run All Night, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Non-Stop, personally, I’ve seen more than enough of Liam Neeson saving/killing everybody.

Neeson has done action films his entire career, but people tend to forget that he is a fantastic dramatic actor as well. Most notably there is the iconic 1993 Spielberg classic, Schindler’s List. In addition to that, there is Michael Collins, Rob Roy, Gangs of New York, Kinsey, and Martin Scorsese’s 2016 underrated, Silence. Neeson is extremely talented and well rounded. I just hate how he has been type-cast into these action/adventure roles over the last 10 years. I mean, the man is Oscar nominated; he can do more than fire a gun and beat bad guys to death.

My hope is that Neeson does maybe one more action movie after The Commuter and Hard Powder release in 2018, and then returns to some dramatic supporting roles. Right now, he’s at a perfect point in his career to land roles as a younger actor’s dad, grandfather, or mentor. While he is a great action star, Neeson has oversaturated himself for the past decade. I know some people who are just tired of seeing him in every movie; but that might change if those movies featured him in a completely different character. I just hope he takes a few risks instead of merely saying yes to the big paycheck.

New Trailer: Can ‘Tomb Raider’ Crack the Code for Video Game Adaptations?

“Death is not an adventure.”*  

“Death is not an adventure.”*  

*(especially for video game adaptations)

Well, the official trailer for the upcoming video game adaptation reboot, Tomb Raider, is here. Personally, I am finding it rather difficult to get excited for it. Video game adaptations have such an awful track record. However, with Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander headlining the movie as the famed archaeologist-adventurer Lara Croft, there is a little bit of hope for this.

Played to the beat of “Black Betty”, the trailer is cut together nicely and doesn’t give away too much about the story (though the title of the movie kinda gives it away, right?). The movie definitely looks adventurous and entertaining, not to mention a little stylish despite some noticeably unfinished CGI. The biggest fear I have is whether or not it’ll have a good story and character depth, which is something that almost all previous video game adaptations have lacked. Also, will it be an hour and a half or longer than two hours? In the end, I hope they find a happy medium with the final cut.

As a video game franchise, “Tomb Raider” has become a popular amongst gamers once again with its 2013 reboot and 2015 follow up. Based on the look of the trailer, it looks like the studio is going with that same aesthetic seen in the rebooted video game franchise. We can only hope that it’s not cheesy and over the top like many video game adaptations have been in the past though.

The casting of Alicia Vikander as the vivacious Lara Croft is interesting. Her talent is undeniable, but I’ll be interested to see how the action scenes come across on screen and how she’s able to take on bad guys that look twice her size. I also like the casting of Walton Goggins as the antagonist; Goggins is most famous for playing one of the best villains in television history in the hit FX show Justified.

I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’m slightly intrigued after the trailer. Are you excited for Tomb Raider?