This week’s 5 Things in Film: Tom Cruise, Ex Machina and more

Vanity Fair Oscars 2015 / Hollywood Issue cover (Annie Leibovitz)

Five things in film world that caught my eye this week…

1  Tom Cruise to play 20-stone drug trafficker

Yes, news is the next big star to pile on the pounds for a film could be actor Tom Cruise – marking the first time he’ll have suffered significant weight gain (or loss) for a movie role. (Not that that’s a big deal, but we all know Oscars judges love it.)

Cruise is in talks to play a 20-stone American pilot who trafficks drugs and guns for the cartel in upcoming film Mena, directed by Bourne Identity director Doug Liman. The 1980s-set biopic tells the story of Barry Seal who ended up working for the CIA but was later murdered by the Colombian cartel.  Source 

2   Jupiter Ascending gets slated

The Wachowskis’ new movie Jupiter Ascending got a comically bad write-up by Matt Zoller Seitz.  I had a bit of a chuckle at this line:

I have no idea what was at stake in this film, what the bad guys wanted, what the good guys were trying to do; I’m sure it’s possible to figure it out, but I’d rather do something more pleasurable, like untangle wadded-up strands of Christmas tree lights.

And this, on Eddie Redmayne:

At times his performance seems modeled on how Redmayne imagines Glenn Close might look and sound, should she live to be 100. He trembles and flares his nostrils. He whispers 90% of his lines and shrieks the other ten.”

Thanks Matt, now I obviously have to see it.   Source

3   Reece Witherspoon is a go-getter

‘Good on ya’, I thought to myself, when reading that Wild’s Best Actress Oscar nominee Reece Witherspoon is putting words into action. Speaking out at the Academy Awards Luncheon this week, she revealed the reason she launched her own production company two years ago was after seeing six of her favourite actresses fight over a ‘really crappy role’ and thinking, quite rightly, what the hell’s that all about. She’s now focused on developing material with strong female leads. Taking matters into her own hands.  Like it.   Source

4   Ex Machina: Bring it on

If you haven’t already, you should check out Mark Kermode’s BBC Film Blog. His latest post ‘My Top Five Artificial People’ got me fairly excited about seeing Ex Machina. (I have a thing for well-done sci-fis; Alien, Blade Runner… Under the Skin, Her..) Anyway, Ex Machina is released in March and stars Oscar Isaac who I am seriously starting to like. Plus, emerging actress Alicia Vikander. It’s also the directorial debut of Alex Garland (author of The Beach) so surely worth a viewing. Mark’s blog also made me want to go and re-watch Blade Runner – again. Which no doubt I will, this weekend.

5    Vanity Fair’s cover

And finally.. it’s pretty and meaningless, but I quite like the Vanity Fair Oscars covers. Don’t ask me why. Maybe I imagine the fun that goes on around the set…  I mean, I’d much rather watch a behind-the-scenes clip of them preparing for the shoot. Think of the flirting that goes on.

(That said, I doubt they’re even there together on the same day are they.. probably photoshopped in.) Ok, so now I’m giving this too much thought.

Tell me, what piqued your interest this week? Post a comment below…

Vanity Fair Oscars 2015 / Hollywood Issue cover (Annie Leibovitz)
Vanity Fair Oscars 2015 / Hollywood Issue cover (Annie Leibovitz)
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