|OSCAR NOMINEESOSCAR NOMINEEBEST PICTURETHE BESTNOMINEESREVIEWOSCAR|
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, a visual effects supervisor walks us through the movie magic for this years nominees for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Avengers: Endgame. Plus, Margot Robbie stops by Hot Ones to eat some spicy chicken wings and talk about her career so far, and Samuel L. Jackson dramatically reads Yelp reviews.
First up, Wired had Method Studios creative director and senior visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie walk through the Academy Awards nominees for Best Visual Effects: 1917, Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As an Academy member and VFX artist himself, he knows exactly what to look for and how to determine what’s the best.
Next, before you see Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey this weekend, see how she can handle some spicy wings on the 11th season premiere of the web series Hot Ones. She’s doesn’t handle the temperature of the wings very well, but she still gives a great interview, and there are even some cameos from he Birds of Prey co-stars offering their own questions.
Finally, in support of a new Omaze charity campaign, Samuel L. Jackson reads some of the most scathing one-star reviews on Yelp in the most dramatic way possible. It’s exactly what you think it would be, and it’s all to convince you to contribute to a charity campaign where you can get a chance to hang out with the badass motherfucker himself.
Richard E. Grant is joining another Marvel property. The British acting legend is joining the cast of the Disney+ Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston as the trickster god, who managed to defy death in Avengers: Endgame. It’s not yet disclosed who Grant will be playing.
Variety and The Wrap confirmed the news that Richard E. Grant has been cast in the Loki series for Disney+. The casting was first reported by DiscussingFilm.
The details of Grant’s role are being kept under wraps, but Variety reports that the actor will only appear in a single episode of the series. What will that role will be? We do not know. However, knowing the type of character that Grant has usually been cast as, it will likely be another sinister British villain for Hiddleston’s Loki to face off against.
Grant has appeared in a Marvel property in this type of role before, starring in James Mangold’s Logan as the villainous Dr. Zander Rice. But as the X-Men series is not connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Grant will likely be playing a different character.
Grant seems to enjoy starring in Disney properties, appearing in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as General Enric Pryde, in a brief but scene-stealing role as the intimidating superior officer who clashed with Domnhall Gleeson’s General Hux. It was honestly too small a role for the presence that Grant grants it, and especially for the excitement that Grant had for the film, which was one of the glorious bright spots of the Rise of Skywalker press tour. Grant is inarguably an amazing actor, but recently he’s become an even better online presence, going viral with his pure joy at being in blockbuster films and meeting Barbra Streisand. Let’s hope that, even with his reportedly brief appearance here, we get to see more wonderful behind-the-scenes raves from Grant.
Loki is set to follow Hiddleston’s Loki at different times in human history, influencing major events after he absconded with one of the Infinity Stones during Avengers: Endgame. Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Sophia Di Martino are also set to star in the series written and executive produced by Michael Waldron. Kate Herron is attached to direct all the episodes and executive produce.
Loki is set to debut on Disney+ sometime in 2021.
As someone born in the eighties, my first exposure to Midnight Cowboy was as a joke on Seinfeld that I didn't get. Jerry and Kramer were on a bus, Kramer slipped into a weird accent and started acting pathetic and all of a sudden some music kicked in and my dad was laughing much harder than I was. “They're doing Midnight Cowboy!” he said, as if this was something a teenager should just know.
Amazing how jokes you didn't get will stick with you like that. Yet in the 20-odd years since that Seinfeld episode, I still hadn't ever seen the 1969 Best Picture winner the only X-rated film ever to do so and number 43 on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of best American films. What can I say, we didn't have streaming services back then. But now Midnight Cowboy is available free on Amazon Prime and all the movie theaters are closed and so here we are.
One great thing about watching old movies in the age of streaming is that they look fantastic. Watching on any decent modern TV, you get a sense of how it must've felt to see them during their original run in a way VHS or even relatively recent DVDs never allowed. Digital technology has only barely caught up with what film projected in its original format could accomplish in the 1930s. I can't say the same for flat screen sound, but that unmistakable Midnight Cowboy song “Everybody's Talkin,” by Harry Nilsson kicks in right away. Jangling guitars, lyrics that you can kind of understand that trick you into singing along — definitely don't watch if you're not prepared to have it stuck in your head for a week. Midnight Cowboy is almost more song than movie.
We open in small-town Texas, following a jarringly handsome Jon Voight at least compared to the present-day MAGA incarnation as Joe Buck, a cosplay cowboy who has quit his dishwashing job to set out for the Big Apple. He tells everyone who asks or doesn't and mostly they don't that he's going to become a “hustler,” which apparently means pleasuring older ladies for money. Joe Buck is either a lovable idiot or working hard to give the impression of one. His plan is plainly quixotic but he does have two things going for him: irrational optimism and total commitment to a look. He apes wholesome TV cowboys and assumes panties will simply melt away for him, something that makes perfect sense in his mind.
Directed by John Schlesinger who went on to direct Marathon Man and Pacific Heights, among others and written by multiple Academy Award winner Waldo Salt from the novel by James Herlihy, Midnight Cowboy's most obvious contribution to pop culture was this oddball lead, whose echo I recognized for years without knowing it, from Seinfeld to Don Cheadle's cowboy phase as “Buck” in Boogie Nights. Even Woody in Toy Story feels like he has a little Joe Buck in...
Last Updated: April 6th
A good gangster movie must do two things: Make us want to live a life of crime and, at the same time, make us grateful we haven't indulged our dark sides like the characters on this list. Most gangster films make the criminal underworld look like a hell of a good time. There's booze, money, women, expensive cars, everything we're taught we should want, but the lavish lifestyle often comes with a price, which means a good gangster movie must also show us the downside of running a criminal empire: The violence, the bloodshed, and the very real threat of prison time. As they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too — but no one told that to the characters in these films.
Here are the 10 most enjoyable films currently streaming on Netflix.
Related: The Best Crime Movies On Netflix Right NowNetflix The Irishman 2019
Run Time: 209 min | IMDb: 8.7/10
Martin Scorsese delivers another cinematic triumph, this time for Netflix and with the help of some familiar faces. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up again for this crime drama based on actual events. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran a World War II vet who finds work as a hitman for the mob. Pacino plays notorious Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, a man who frequently found himself on the wrong side of the law and the criminals he worked with. The film charts the pair's partnership over the years while injecting some historical milestones for context. It's heavy and impressively cast and everything you'd expect a Scorsese passion-project to be.A24 A Most Violent Year 2014
Run Time: 125 min | IMDb: 7/10
Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac play a husband-wife duo caught up in the criminal underground in this darkly-lit drama. Isaac plays Abel Morales, an immigrant and aspiring business owner who finds himself the target of ruthless competitors when he takes steps to secure a facility to transport oil throughout the boroughs. Chastain plays his wife Anna, a shrewd businesswoman in her own right who comes from a mobster family. The two fights against a determined D.A. and corrupt criminals in order to secure the money they need to purchase the land, but in doing so, they become the enemy they've been fighting against. It's a heavy, morose kind of film, filled with violence and shady back-door dealings, but Chastain and Isaac bring a bit of brilliance to it all.Netflix Imperial Dreams 2014
Run Time: 87 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
John Boyega stars in this stirring drama about a recently released convict caught up in the terrible cycle that people often face after prison. Boyega plays Bambi, a 21-year-old who gets a taste of freedom after spending time behind bars for some kind of crime involving a weapon. Bambi's determined to live right and do right by...