Tag Archives: actor

FILM: ANTHONY MACKIE

anthony-mackie-premiere-pain-and-gain-01
Anthony Mackie: Actor, Writer, and Producer

ANTHONY MACKIE IS HAVING A MOMENT. OR RATHER–a momentous rocketship to the top of the Hollywood food chain.

Handsome but not overwhelmingly so, Mackie has a distinguished, quirky charisma physically matched by the signature slight gap in his front teeth. You probably now know him best as the superhero, The Falcon, in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and twice in 2015 in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.

0Falcon
Anthony Mackie as The Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Mackie, however, has probably been playing at a theater near you seemingly every month for the past five years or so (Peep his IMDB resume). While I personally took note of him in two spitfire roles as rappers in 2002’s 8 Mile and 2009’s Notorious (in the latter as rap idol Tupac Shakur), Mackie really grabbed the eye of Big Hollywood in 2008’s Oscar-esteemed The Hurt Locker as . Since then, it’s been a constant case of “Oh, that guy… I know him!” at the cinemas for attendees.

ifwt_mackie
Mackie (Left) as Tupac Shakur in Notorious
The Hurt Locker movie image
Mackie in The Hurt Locker

CASE IN POINT: Mackie is soon starring in three films coming out within the same four weeks of one another: October 30’s Sandy Bullock political comedy-drama, Our Brand is Crisis, November 13’s Christmas all-star-cast family comedy, Love the Coopers, and November 20’s Christmas bromance comedy, The Night Before.

Get on the Mackie train. The industry veteran and Juilliard alum will finally get his due soon as a household name…Only a matter of seconds now.

Anthony Mackie

img_73471 (2)

 

FILM: SIENNA MILLER

Sienna-Miller_-Observer-Magazine-2015--02-662x851
Sienna Miller, courtesy of Observer Magazine

SIENNA MILLER IS NO NEW “FIND,” and that is unfortunately not a good thing. She is still “the blonde on whom Jude Law cheated with his nanny” or some other form of tabloid bait in most’s eyes. Infuriating.

Infuriating considering the depth and versatility of this woman’s thespian talents. It’s not like she hasn’t given the public plenty of chances to catch her acting muscles being flexed. The girl is prolific. After her recent matinee collaboration with Bradley Cooper in the controversial blockbuster “American Sniper,” she and Cooper will soon be reunited onscreen in the indie drama, “Burnt,” out October 23rd.

Whether she is playing the dynamic-but-self-destructive iconic socialite, Edie Sedgwick (“Factory Girl”), or a slowly decaying zombie newlywed (“Camille”), Miller lends a blend of gravitas and chameleon-like morphing capability to each role that we normally only see in Oscar-winning performances. Not an easy feat given that Miller is often typecast into pretty-girl roles, which other actresses might navigate with far less insight and wit. Yes, looks can indeed be a handicap in Hollywood, people.

Top 5 Sienna Miller Must-Sees:

*all synopses from IMDB.com

1. Factory Girl (2007)

“Based on the rise and fall of socialite Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller), concentrating on her relationships with Andy Warhol and a folk singer [unnamed but supposedly Bob Dylan]”

Factory-Girl-sienna-miller-1077915_853_48003

2. Casanova (2006)

“Heath Ledger plays the fabled romantic as a man who, after failing to win the affection of a particular Venetian woman (Sienna Miller), strives to discover the real meaning of love.”

3. Interview (2009)

“A disdainful reporter (Steve Buscemi) gets a surprise when he spends an unusual evening with an actress (Sienna Miller) who may not be as stupid and spoiled as she seems.”

2007_interview_004interview

4. Camille (2008)

“Silas Parker (James Franco) is a moody petty-thief. He marries his parole officer’s niece, believing that he can use the romantic honeymoon to escape to Canada. Camille Foster (Sienna Miler) is the sweetest girl you can ever hope to meet. She truly believes that Niagara Falls will change Silas for the better and won’t let anything stop the honeymoon, not even her death.”

untitled

5. The Edge of Love (2009)

 The story is based loosely on real events and people. During World War II, Vera Phillips (Keira Knightley) runs into her first love, charismatic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys), and their feelings for each other are renewed, despite that Dylan is now married to the spirited Caitlin MacNamara (Sienna Miller). Despite their rivalry, the two women become friends and the trio have happy times together. When Vera marries soldier William Killick (Cillian Murphy), Dylan becomes jealous at the addition of him to the group, and Caitlin notices. But William is soon deployed abroad, and the remaining trio moves to the Welsh countryside, where Vera’s feelings for Dylan intensify.”

the_edge_of_love27
Ho’s before bro’s, ja feel?

The-Edge-Of-Love-Screencaps-the-edge-of-love-18858862-1015-549

MILLER TIME, Y’ALL! ….AND SEE “BURNT.”

IMG_7347

TV: Griping About the Miscast of “Supergirl” (Based solely on a trailer and some promo pics)

#LILGRIPESPopCultureTakes

~Lillian Gao

melissa-benoist-768
SHE’S related to Henry “Perfect Specimen” Cavill? (Photo courtesy of CBS)

I KNEW LITTLE ABOUT MELISSA BENOIST (previously most known for “Glee”) when I heard through the Twittersphere that they had cast the titular superheroine for CBS’s new “Supergirl” series. [Supergirl, briefly, is an alien originated from the planet Krypton and a cousin of Superman’s. Their real names, respectively, are Kara and Kal-El. On Earth, they are known as Kara and Clark Kent. What makes them super? Extraordinary strength, speed, invincibility as well as X-Ray vision, supersonic hearing, and flight (NERDS… Got a problem with my necessarily hastened description here- WRITE YOUR OWN DAMN BLOG. K?)] As a big fan of females kicking butt, I was so amped to find out who it was and what she looked like. I found out she looked like this:

melissa-supergirl

Huuuuh?…

I am so confused. Ms. Benoist is a pleasant-looking girl. She looks perfect for the role of a baker’s granddaughter or the girl next door’s…best friend. She is not Supergirl. She’s not even Supergirl’s best friend. Look, I am ALL for the “average girl” scoring leading film or TV roles. Absolutely… for any range of comedies from “Chasing Amy” to “Bridesmaids” or dramas like “August: Osage County.” *I am actually not insinuating any of the women in these films were “average.* Melissa Benoist simply does not belong in superhero roles. Here’s why:

1.  She is a first cousin of Superman’s.

IMG_0946
(L to R) Henry Cavill, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Dean Cain, Christopher Reeves… five impossibly handsome men, at least at the time of their Superman roles (looking at you, Dean Cain)

Now, I’ve known quite a few first cousins to look nothing alike, but for the sake of storytelling, it would serve the CBS show well for Kara and Clark to exemplify some shared and attractive DNA in their faces. That means she needs to bear at least a passing resemblance to Henry Cavill, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Dean Cain, and/or Christopher Reeves. Or some type of composite image of those five Supermen.

Melissa-Benoist-Supergirl-Cake
Meh…? (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

[Melissa] Benoist is a pleasant-looking girl. She looks perfect for the role of a baker’s granddaughter or the girl’s next door’s…best friend.

2. She is a superhero. Superheroes have exceptional features. Melissa’s face, while pretty, is forgettable. I saw a picture of her face a second ago typing this and I’ve already forgotten what it looks like.

“Exceptional” does not have to mean “exceptionally good-looking.” Not all superheroes need chiseled Greek god jawlines à la Superman, Batman, or Captain America. But every rendition of Spiderman requires exceptionally boyish features and every version of the X-Man Blob needs to have…blob.

952468-mblob
Blob (Kevin Durand), in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009); (Photo courtesy of Comic Vine)

In other words, superheroes need to stand out in some shape or form, be it a beauteous or a lard-filled one.

 3. She will be directly compared to two significantly more memorable, now-iconic superheroines. The last Supergirl to appear on live-action television was the extremely comely “Smallville”‘s Laura Vandervoort. Ms. Vandervoort’s Kara was all acute glares and cheekbones from the outside and sassy thorns and quiet fortitude within. Her stubborn brattitude made her Supergirl the perfect foil to Superman’s boy-scout altruism.

IMG_1032
Follow my favorite Supergirl on Twitter: @Vandiekins22

Then there’s 1984’s cheesetastically-awesome-in-retrospect “Supergirl” movie. While the movie was widely panned by critics and viewers alike at the time, the casting of Kara Kent had nothing to do with it. Helen Slater’s broad, Amazonian shoulders and piercing glaze were born to inhabit this role.

Supergirl-Helen-Slater-15
Photo courtesy of Hobby Talk
Supergirl-Helen-Slater-36
Photo courtesy of Supergirl: Maid of Might

In fact, Slater actually looks more suited for the role in her finer age than Benoist does:

Supergirl-Helen-Slater-37
Photo courtesy of IMDB (2011)

melissa-benoist-2-435
I’m here to save you… from being thoroughly entertained. (Photo courtesy of CBS)

Then again, this IS CBS [As of mid-2016, the show has joined its DC sister shows on the CW]. They target an older demographic whom they don’t want the presence of a Victoria’s Secret model to threaten and who, frankly, probably wish they could only look like Melissa Benoist. Let’s just wait for the first episode and see, shall we?

Much love,

Lil xx

FILM, FASHION AND TV: We Love Elizabeth Olsen, Stella McCartney, and “Workaholics”

 FILM

1. Elizabeth Olsen

elizabeth-olsen2-e1344378249497
(Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine)

WHY AM I SO GAGA over Elizabeth Olsen right now? She is Hollywood’s Next Big Thing and I’ve been saying it for… friends, for how long have I been saying it?… She’s beautiful (Her bone structure could give Sir Cheekbones himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, a run for his pounds) and her tiny face seems to grow prettier the longer you look at her; I’ve watched Lizzie (by which she introduces herself to everyone apparently–journalists and fans alike) drop words like “dramaturgical” on talk shows without any pretentious pauses for effect and on those exact same shows, seem to forget that she, in fact, was being interviewed.

elizabeth-olsen-for-NYT
Yes, I’m an Olsen. I know, it’s hard to tell. (Photo courtesy of The New York Times)

Unlike her ultra-guarded twin dynamo sisters, Mary Kate and Ashley, Lizzie is blithely candid in interviews–she answers questions about her superstar sisters like it’s the first time she’s ever heard them asked and raves as enthuastically about her 300-sq ft 1-bedroom apartment (remember: her sisters are billionaires) as she does about the freebies she gets to enjoy as an Olsen (free designer threads, exclusive VIP passes to Hollywood gatherings…). Oh, also, she just played the FRIGGIN’ SCARLET WITCH in this May’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (and crushed it beyond fans’ expectations–check the IMDB message boards).

ZZ54B4C489
Lizzie being a total badass B as the Scarlet Witch , “The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)” (Marvel Studios)

Beyond all the other reasons for falling in love with this 5’7″ NYU Tisch grad, however, the principal one remains that Lizzie Olsen is really, really good at her job. There is a prodigious wide-eyed innocence she imbues into every role, whether she is a damaged cult escapee or a mutated (…Inhuman?….) superheroine. In 2011’s indie darling, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” she disquietedly conveys the nuanced psychological transformation of a girl both emotionally and physically leaving behind the cult to which she once belonged. 2013’s redundantly gruesome Spike Lee remake of the Korean psycho-thriller remake, “Oldboy,” got mediocre-to-HORRIFIC reviews but Olsen was universally praised for her understated turn as a lustful-but-earnest young misfit.

elizabeth-olsen-martha-marcy-may-marlene-image
Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
OB_08014.CR2
Josh Brolin and Olsen, “Oldboy (2013)” (Good Universe)

 In 2011’s indie darling, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” [Olsen] disquietedly conveys the nuanced psychological transformation of a girl both emotionally and physically leaving behind the cult to which she once belonged.

It is Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, though, in “Age of Ultron” (my own review on this particular film to come) that sold me on her ability to be the one thing to which all actors, whether or not they admit it, aspire: a movie star. I LOVE watching a gorgeous young woman kick ASSSSSS, preferably in a super-enhanced, hex-bolt-throwing kind of way. The kind where their eyes glow or they can at least do a super-sick flying kick (Black Widow, looking atcha). Olsen, however, focuses the Scarlet Witch (neé Wanda Maximoff) on her survivor story arc, her steeliness masking a deeply shaken naiveté. I also can’t imagine it is easy for any actor to stand across from a 5’10” James Spader (portraying the titular villain through performance-capture) with a rod and two red rubber balls attached to his head to mimic Ultron’s towering eye-line and act genuinely scared/menaced/angered. Lizzie pulls it off with a convincing hypnotism. After a few first Scarlet Witch’s scenes, you begin feeling her absence whenever she’s not onscreen. If you haven’t seen this blockbuster of a sequel yet, see it for one thing only if you must… the new Olsen running Hollywood.

 I  can’t imagine it is easy for any actor to stand across from a 5’10” James Spader with a rod and two red rubber balls attached to his head to mimic Ultron’s towering eye-line and act genuinely scared/menaced/angered. Lizzie Olsen pulls it off with a convincing hypnotism. 

tumblr_n2yjpouu5U1ttv14wo1_250
Loving the ’90s Hot Topic look, S.W. (Marvel Studios)

FASHION

2. Stella McCartney Olive/Tortoiseshell Wayfarer Sunglasses

IMG_0188

THE SECOND ON MY LIST of #LilsThreeBestforJune is best expressed visually. Ever since that movie I’ve yet to see, “Risky Business,” popularized these funny little, uptilting square-with-triangular-corners shades called Wayfarers, it has been the go-to for both yuppies and wannabe-yuppies.

wayfarer-sunglasses
Tom Cruise has only been considered a style icon ONCE and ONCE ONLY. (Geffen Company)

I came across my Stella McCartney Olive/Tortoiseshell Wayfarers on a particularly fortuitous Gilt sale, but I LOVE YOU and found it online at C21stores.com: http://www.c21stores.com/designers_shop-by-category_sunglasses/stella-mccartney-sm4043-olive-tortoiseshell-wayfarer-sunglasses. INSANE DISCOUNT ALERT!

Sure, you can go for the most famous Wayfarers in the world, the Ray -Ban collection. After all, they are the authority on yuppie-chic (and I say that with zero condescension). I cannot get my fill of Ray-Bans. Mr./Ms. President of Ray-Ban, are you paying attention?). Or the many imitation Wayfarers in the world.

ray-ban-wayfarer
(Photo courtesy of Ray-Ban)

No. STAND OUT with these beautiful Stella’s. Their “Green on Top and Tortoiseshell brown on Bottom” pattern hikes up the Wayfarer game to the next level. It is also timeless, as all Stella McCartney pieces tend to be. Don’t fret- You can have your Ray-Bans and Stella’s at the same time, guys.

TV

3. “Workaholics”

Adam Devine; Anders Holm; Blake Anderson (from left)
(L to R) Adam DeVine; Anders Holm; Blake Anderson (Comedy Central)

EVEN IF YOU DON’T SMOKE POT, drink at work, or ingest any number of illicit drugs, Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” is for you. Ok, slight exaggeration. If you enjoy a loose-structure comedy about three male Millennials who happen to indulge in all three of those activities, then “Workaholics” is for you. Ok, even more specifically… If you are a Millennial who enjoys loosely structured comedy about three male Millennials who happen to indulge in all three of those activities, “Workaholics” is, like, so for you. So. For. YOU.

Centered around the lives of three socially AND professionally inept best buds/roommates/hourly potheads/heavy drinkers/recreational drug users/coworkers at a telemarketing company, the best part of this show is that its frat-boy comedy surface is just that: purely and simply a smokescreen. …A.K.A. “‘Workaholics’: NOT just a show about dick jokes.”

workaholics_3-2_full
The titular “Workaholics” at…work? (Comedy Central)

Don’t get me wrong: Each episode is an half-hour progression of comedic set pieces focused on erections (only in the presence of other males), masturbation, and conversations exclusively about the first two things. That’s the skeleton of the show. The charm and charisma both lie in the rich bond of the trio’s friendship and the wildly original imagination it must have taken to cook up the follies these boys stumble upon.

The boys? They are three of the most refreshing and more importantly, most realistic BFF trios TV viewers have ever encountered. There is Anders “Ders” Holmvik (played by Anders Holm), Blake Henderson (Blake Anderson), and Adam DeMamp (Adam DeVine).

workaholics-cast-640x480
(Photo courtesy of Comedy Central)

Just like the similarity between their real and show names, the boys are so endearing because their onscreen personas are 90-100% authentic. Anders’s weird obsession with Jamie Foxx is VERY real; Adam has really watched every Jean Claude Van Damme movie in existence; Blake really is into World of Warcraft and all three truly, truly love that weed.

The best part [about “Workaholics”] is that its frat-boy comedy surface is just that: purely and simply a smokescreen. …

A.K.A. “‘Workaholics’: NOT just dick jokes.”

weed
They don’t joke about weed but you don’t have to even like it to laugh along. (L to R) Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Kyle Newacheck (Photo courtesy of the AP)

It does not hurt that the three naturally happen to complement each other in the height, size, and personality departments. Ders is the 6’4″ Norwegian-American collegiate swimmer (Holm himself was a highly competitive swimmer at the University of Wisconsin) and most level-headed and literate member of the crew. Adam is the 5’8″ baby-faced (and baby-bodied) horny adult toddler constantly chasing tail. Free-spirited Blake, with that hippie-esque curly mane and assorted tie-dye tees, is the trio’s peacekeeper, the calm buffer when volatile Adam and responsible Ders clash.

Aside from the boys’ undeniable chemistry, “Workaholics” consistently churns out immediately Twitter-trending catchphrases like “#LetsGetWeird,” “#FutureBabes,” and the most original (…right word?) of them all, the terms “Loose vs. #TightButthole.” Please, if you will, click on the hyperlinked illustrations of these terms because it would be sacrilege for me to try and break them down in my own words.

zpxUG
Adam DeMamp has a message for the ladies. (Comedy Central)
3ssmcs
Yup. (Comedy Central)

The extra-extra-creamy icing on the cake, “Workaholics”‘s main creators and writers are, in fact, the three stars themselves along with co-star Kyle Newacheck (their drug dealer, Karl –big surprise–Hevacheck). The foursome originated as part of a LA sketch comedy group Mail Order Comedy, which is now the name of their production company.

z7jmXan
No caption needed. (Comedy Central)

Intended for this niche audience of sorta-lost-to-super-lost Millennials looking for a place in the adult world, the stars and writers all understand that basic cable is a limiting field for their audience’s wandering tastes and boundaries. Once again separating this show’s talent from so many others’, the creators always find a way around the B.S. FCC racket. To wit, Adam DeMamp/DeVine appears in one scene completely full-frontal with only his penis tucked in à la Buffalo Bill. ON BASIC CABLE AT 10:30PM (ET). Holm got around to revealing how they outsmarted their Comedy Central overlords recently on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Comedy Central told the boys, “We can’t show full-frontal pubic hair on-air.”

The boys responded, “Great, then we’ll just shave off all of Adam’s pubic hair.”

And here we are (I actually think this IS Safe For Work): http://malecelebsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Adam-DeVine-11.jpg

Disagree all day that this show has any redeeming cultural value. This show was not likely meant for you. As Adam Demamp would say, it’s for the children. Because the children, the children…are our future. AND THE FUTURE IS HERE. *@AdamDeVine, did I get that even close to right?

Follow my favorite three men in all of entertainment on Twitter:

@Ders808
@ADAMDEVINE
@UncleBlazer

The love is done. Get ready for hateful ranting next week.

Much love,

Lil xx