Oscar Profile #341: William Hurt

Born March 20, 1950 in Washington, D.C. William Hurt’s mother Claire worked for Time, Inc. and his father Alfred worked for the State Dept. After their divorce, his mother married Henry Luce II and young William lived abroad in Lahore, Mogadishu and Khartoum where he father was stationed.

Educated at Tufts University and Julliard, Hurt began his career on the stage in the 1970s. On TV late in the decade, he made his film debut as the star of Ken Russell’s 1980 film, Altered States opposite Blair Brown. He then starred in Peter Yates’ 1981 film, Eyewitness with Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Plummer and James Woods. His next film, that same year, Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat opposite Kathleen Turner made him a star.

In December 1981, Hurt starred opposite Sally Field in a live TV broadcast of All the Way Home directed by Delbert Mann. He returned to the screen as part of the ensemble in Kasdan’s 1983 film, The Big Chill in which his co-stars included Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Jeff Goldblum, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger and Meg Tilly. The film was a Best Picture Oscar nominee.

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This Day in Oscar History: May 25 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: What Are You Watching? (May 26-28, 2017)

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What Are You Watching? (May 26-28, 2017)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (May 26-28, 2017)

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Film Preview: Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Page Revisions:

(May 21, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 22, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: An overly minimal design that has one nice central image, and a lot of ugly-colored blank space.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: While they’ve chosen wisely in terms of actors, the film feels a bit formulaic, though there are plenty of hints at some atypical elements, which could certainly make it worth while.

Oscar Prospects:

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris directed the Oscar-nominated Little Miss Sunshine. That alone should make this a prime Oscar contender. That the film stars last year’s Oscar winner Emma Stone and prior Oscar nominee Steve Carell should give anyone the sense that this could be a big Oscar player. Biopics are additionally popular, but the late-September release date does make one wonder if it will be a major player or a minor one. I suspect a handful of nominations, especially for Stone and Carell, but the film may not make big waves like Little Miss Sunshine did.

Trailer #1

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2017 Summer Season Preview: June

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

June 2, 2017

Captain Underpants

Premise: From IMDb: “Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.”
Box Office Prospects: $85 M
Expectations: Uncertain. DreamWorks has a strange history with audiences. Even movies that are trashed by critics still do well and some that aren’t do poorly. It’s almost a crap-shoot whether it will succeed or not. After The Boss Baby,. It’s possible that parents will take their kids to see anything animated if given an option, which could help the film, but the impending release of Pixar’s Cars 3 could depress attendance afte rthe first two weekends.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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Looking at the Weekend: May 26-28, 2017

When you have a venerable franchise against a movie that no one seems to be clamoring for, the venerable franchise should win. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales maybe the latest in a series that’s grown long in the tooth, but its main competition is Baywatch, a film that hopes to tap into the audience that made 21 Jump Street a surprise hit. The difference here is critics. They have been consistently negative on both films and, for Baywatch, that’s not a good sign since Jump Street did fairly well with critics.

Our Highest Rated Films: Pirates of the Caribbean (sort of)
Our Best Awards Ratings: Baywatch (Razzies)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Buena Vista Social Club: Adios
The Here After
Long Strange Trip – The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead

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This Day in Oscar History: May 24 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: The Little Hours (2017)

Page Revisions:

(May 21, 2017) Original

Release Date:

June 30, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the middle ages.”

Poster Rating: B+ / B-

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Review: (#1) A compelling design that cleverly riffs on Catholic artwork to underpin its darker comedic image. (#2) Similar in origin, but less exciting in execution, this is another callback to the typical Catcholic artistic style.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Some of the film’s comedy seems unnecessarily crass, like a more foul-mouthed version of Monty Python and The Holy Grail; however, there’s plenty to suggest this will be the kind of irreverent, sacrilegious comedy that we haven’t seen since Dogma. And that’s a good thing.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Statistics: Foreign Language Films, Part 1

Every month, we’re going to be looking at the Oscars in a different way. While most of our content deals with predictions and precursors and reviews and previews and everything in between, the facts and statistics surrounding the Oscars are seldom referenced but in passing. These articles will change that. Every monthly (ideally), we’ll take a narrow look at statistics about and surrounding the Oscars.

When putting together this month’s look at Foreign Language Films at the Oscars, I came across a lot of interesting data that would make for a very long post. As such, I’m going to break it down into two different posts, finishing Foreign Language Films up in June. This month, we look solely at the Foreign Language Film category. Next month, we will dig into foreign language films outside of the Foreign Language Film category. There will, of course, be some overlap between the two articles, but I’ll do my best to limit data to the most appropriate place.

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The DVD Report #517

Universal Classic Monsters Collection, released in September 2015, was supposed to be the be-all and end-all of Universal’s classic monsters on Blu-ray. Well, not exactly. Although collectors were happy to have the eight greatest monster films from Universal’s vaults all in one Blu-ray collection, many were disappointed that Universal didn’t also upgrade the subsequent films in their Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon franchises.

The eight films in the initial Blu-ray collection were 1931’s Frankenstein and Dracula, 1933’s The Invisible Man and The Mummy, 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein, 1941’s The Wolf Man, 1943’s The Phantom of the Opera, and 1954’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon. In September 2016, Universal released Frankenstein: Complete Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection. Newly released are Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection and The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection. Blu-ray releases of The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon complete legacies will presumably see forthcoming releases. 1943’s The Phantom of the Opera did not become an ongoing franchise, but it’s possible that we may see a combined Blu-ray release of the 1943 and 1962 versions of the classic tale combined in a future release, as both are owned by Universal.

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This Day in Oscar History: May 23 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Alien: Covenant”

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Now That You’ve Seen Alien: Covenant…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Alien: Covenant," which franchise film is best?

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Trailer Watch: Okja (2017) Updated

New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#1)

Okja, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 19-21, 2017

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Alien: Covenant

Science fiction and horror are two genres the Academy is typically averse to. While there are notable exceptions, they seem to be fewer and farther between than they once were. That doesn’t mean recognition is non-existent. One franchise that has been tremendously successful with Oscar voters is the Alien series, with films that have consistently been recognized and occasionally rewarded by the Academy.

When the first film opened in June of 1979, Ridley Scott’s Alien was a big success. Adjusted for inflation, the first film made more than $275 million at the box office. This was a staggering amount for the time, especially for a sci-fi/horror hybride. That box office strength and critical acclaim may have bolstered the film’s Oscar prospects as it secured two Oscar nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects. It won the latter of these awards.

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Rating

Director

James Gunn

Screenplay

James Gunn

Length

136 min.

Starring

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn

MPAA Rating

G-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content

Original Preview

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