Tag Archive: actors and actresses


Forbes has released their figures this week of who the highest paid actors in Hollywood are… and it’s not good news for Eddie Murphy. The list piles together the salaries and profits of the films these actors and actresses have made in the last five years and the ‘overpaid’ part comes from how much their films make at the box office per every $1 the actor/actress is paid. Unfortunately for Eddie Murphy, the list does not take in to account voice acting because, according to Forbes, the star isn’t the major pull for animated films.

Here is the list in full:

Shut up and quit, Murphy.

1. Eddie Murphy

2. Katherine Heigl

3. Reese Witherspoon

4. Sandra Bullock

5. Jack Black

6. Nicolas Cage

7. Adam Sandler

8. Denzel Washington

9. Ben Stiller

10. Sarah Jessica-Parker

 

It should come as no surprise that Murphy tops the list, I mean when was the last time he really made a good live action film? He has been off the boil now for at least six years, going on 10. It’s also no surprise that Katherine Heigl appears so high up on the list; as much as I do like her as an actress she doesn’t half make some God awful films, not least One For the Money that I actually sat all the way through this year (medal please?).

The list seems to be made up of actors who have ‘lost it’. Murphy, Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, Jack Black, Ben Stiller and Sarah Jessica-Parker are a long time past their best but because they are big names they can still demand a high salary, despite their box office pull not being as strong as they might like to think.

Maybe those ridiculous Ghost Rider films had something to do with it.

The name I most unexpected to see on this list is Denzel Washington but I think that it makes sense he will be on here. I think that, especially in recent years, when you cast Denzel Washington you’re not casting him because you think he will bring in a large audience; you are casting him because you know you’re going to get a flawless performance in a dramatic piece: Flight and American Gangster are the best examples of this.

After the release of these statistics maybe some of these actors should think about stopping making movies… I’m looking at you Sandler!!

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I love Anna Kendrick, that’s pretty much the long and short of this blog. There aren’t really that many actresses that I would class as some of my favourite people to watch in films but among them is definitely Anna Kendrick. The last couple of years have seen Kendrick rise to fame and become popular with fans and critics alike.

Like most really good actors and actresses Kendrick’s roots lie in the world of theatre, in particular Broadway. It was clear that Kendrick had talent right from the off as her performance in the musical High Society, at just twelve years old, as she won the World Theatre Award and got nominated for a Tony Award. After a few more shows Kendrick got her first film role in the independent musical comedy Camp and, although the film on a whole received mix reviews, Kendrick’s performance was largely praised and she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best Debut Performance.

In 2007 Anna Kendrick got rave reviews once again for her role in Rocket Science but it was in 2008 that she finally got her big break and this came in the Twilight series (although lets not hold that against her, she has done lots of other good films too!). I can’t be bothered talking about Twilight but I thought I better mention it so lets just move on to her brilliant films.

In 2009, Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in one of the best films that I think I have ever seen and one of my favourites… Up in the Air. Up in the Air is a lovely, touching story with George Clooney in the lead role and Anna Kendrick puts in the best performance of the film in my opinion. It’s a lovely performance to watch and Kendrick adds some genuine humour in the film and many of the highlights of Up in the Air are down to her. It was Up in the Air where I really became a fan of her.

In 2010 Kendrick appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and didn’t really have a lot to do here where she played the sister to the title character. It was while working on this film that Kendrick met her now partner, director Edgar Wright. Then in 2011, she appeared in one of the best films of the year and an all round near perfect film, 50/50. Kendrick plays the therapist to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cancer patient and their friendship/relationship and mutual respect towards one another is really heart warming to watch and I think that 50/50 is my favourite performance of Kendrick’s so far.

It’s been a dramatic rise to fame over the last couple of years for Kendrick and that shows no signs of lagging just yet as this year has been very busy for the actress. This year Kendrick voiced a character in stop-motion picture ParaNorman, took the lead role in Pitch Perfect and also sang on the soundtrack and is currently appearing in a film being dubbed “the greatest cop film of all time” End of Watch. She is also in The Company You Keep alongside Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf which I am looking forward to seeing but has only been previewed at the Venice Festival so far.

At just 27 years old Anna Kendrick is fast becoming one of the most fun actresses to watch and her career is surely going to reach some fantastic heights.

Babel (2006) Review

Babel is the third offering from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in his ‘Death’ trilogy, following Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Being a big fan of 21 Grams I was looking forward to watching Babel and had high expectations due to the amount of critical acclaim it received back upon its release.

Babel tells the stories of four different families in three different continents who are all connected by one tragic incident. But as much as Babel is about these families and their stories the stories take a back seat in order for Inarritu and scriptwriter Guillermo Arriaga to develop and explore pivotal themes in human life such as death, communication and family. It is a good job really because I felt that none of the stories were really strong enough to stand up by themselves and all supported one another significantly. However, the story that takes place in Japan is a little less connected to the others and, despite arguably being the most interesting of the four stories, has little bearing on the film as a whole.

As well as the deep themes being explored it is also the terrific acting that makes Babel worth the watch. Brad Pitt is not a name associated with the phrase ‘terrific acting’; yes he is a bankable name and yes he is world famous but he’s never been the best actor around but Babel sees Pitt put in a really emotional performance and is definitely one of his best to date. The real stand out performance for me was, again, in the Japanese story. Rinku Kikuchi as Chieko Wataya, a deaf-mute Japanese schoolgirl, is incredible. This is genuinely one of the best performances I think that I have ever seen, it is so compelling and just layered with intrigue that it is not a performance soon forgotten. It’s a whole international effort with stellar performances coming from actors and actresses of all nationalities including Adriana Barazza, Elle Fanning, Mohamed Akhzam and Gael Garcia Bernal. But any Cate Blanchett fans thinking of watching Babel I probably wouldn’t bother. She is on the front of the DVD case and her name is one of the most well known of the cast but she is barely in it and after her first scene she barely even speaks or moves.

As you might well expect the direction from Inarritu is flawless. Babel is not one of the strongest films I have ever seen but it is up there with the most beautiful. Inarritu clearly has a talent for his craft and this is nothing less than perfection in his directing of the film. Every single shot is well thought out and every single detail is covered. It is his performance as director that makes Babel what it is.

For all of it’s good points, as I mentioned earlier none of the stories are really that strong. It is hard to gain an emotional connection to any of the characters when you are being flown across the globe and back again to get all of these different stories flying at you. And for all the good acting and brilliant directing that is something that I could not look past. The writing needed to make the characters easier to connect with for the audience.

My Rating: 6/10.

UK Release Date: 1st February 2013.

Stars: You name it, they’ve got it: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Chloe Moretz, Seann William Scott, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Naomi Watts, Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Uma Thurman, Justin Long, Halle Berry, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Josh Duhamel, Liev Schreiber… and the list goes on.

Movie 43 is an ensemble comedy intertwining the stories of several different characters. These types of movies almost never go down well with critics or audience’s alike, but that is because most of them are romantic films and romance requires backstory and depth that ensemble films don’t usually allow for. Comedy allows for people to come in, make a joke, then get out as quick as possible and they’ve had an impact on the audience so this could work!

It’s cast list is huge and is jam packed with stars of past and present, both huge blockbuster names and those actors you recognise from loads of different things but never actually bother to look them up. And with this huge cast comes plenty of directors too including Elizabeth Banks, James Gunn, Brett Ratner and and NINE more! Clearly a lot of effort has gone into this film and there must be something in the script that has attracted so many fantastic actors and actresses to the same project!

This is the red band trailer which are always better for adult comedies as it gives you a true sense of the jokes that will be flung at audiences; you’ve got everything in there from sex jokes, excrement jokes, puberty and even a little gentle racism. Like with the cast and directors, they’ve left nothing to the imagination. I found the trailer to be really really funny and I hope you all do too, but as always I have my doubts about comedy films and ensemble films but all signs suggest promise for Movie 43.

Forbes has announced that the highest paid actress of the last year is Kristen Stewart; this is despite the fact that her acting abilities leave a lot to be desired and that she only has one facial expression. Perhaps, though, these reports will finally see Kristen Stewart being able to put a smile on that face of hers. This is no doubt going to cause some controversy with fans of actual actresses with talent like Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts (who also feature in the top ten) but if you look at the details, it makes sense.

Twilight, whether you like it or not (and for some daft reason a lot of people like seeing three non talented actors in lead roles of a Hollywood franchise), has become a huge worldwide success with Stewart in the lead role of Bella Swan. You can’t underestimate the importance of remaining consistent with actors and actresses in movies. Stewart is the main character in a huge Hollywood franchise and therefore is pretty much irreplaceable in many people’s eyes, meaning that a huge pay off is needed to keep her on board and stop other studios being able to tempt her away with a higher paycheck.

The list compiles the actress’ earnings between May 2011 and May 2012 and as well as having the Twilight series to promote Stewart has also proved that she can bring in the audiences without the help of Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner with Snow White and the Huntsman (although I do think that Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron were the main draw for the films success, not Stewart) and she was in the lead role yet again, taking a lot of the credit with the films strong success in the box offices.

Second place on the list might be even more surprising that first place: Cameron Diaz. Yes, she may be an experienced actress but what success has she had recently? Well Bad Teacher did surprisingly well at the box office (no doubt because Cameron was showing off her more raunchy side once more) and she took a pay cut on that in favour of a profit participation deal, a gamble that proved to pay off. She also collected a paycheck from What to Expect When You’re Expecting for which she was very highly paid reportedly so she is sitting pretty on top of a huge pile of cash right now I imagine.

The remainder of the top ten is as follows: Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker (seriously?!), Meryl Streep, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Aniston. I was slightly surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence not on the list although I anticipate she will be featured very high up the rankings next year with her place in the new X-men franchise and The Hunger Games sequels likely to see her cashing in in the same way that Kristen Stewart has this year.

Kristen Stewart will be seen later this year in Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the trailer for which is below:

UK Release Date: 11th January 2013.

Plot: Prisoner 24601, Jean Valjean, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. Set in early 19th-century France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the July Revolution of 1832.

Stars: Tom Hooper (director), Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter… quite a few then.

Les Miserables, affectionately referred to as Les Mis, is one of the all time classic stage productions and musicals. It has been performed for years and won a string of awards in its time in the theatres; it is one of the most well known productions of our time and now comes to the cinema screens of Hollywood. I have seen a stage production of this as well as a school production and the story is great so I anticipate big things from the cast and crew of this film.

This is only a teaser trailer but everything about Les Miserables screams ‘oscar bait’. The timing of its release will not be coincidental by any stretch of the imagination, giving it perfect timing to be considered for awards season. Hooper won last years Oscar for best direction with The King’s Speech and there is no shortage of big hitters among the cast. It has been confirmed by Hooper that all the actors and actresses do their own singing and did it live on set so there is no dubbing over with vocals later on which will make Les Mis all the more authentic.

Musicals conjure up horrible thoughts usually in the mass audience but when done right amazing things can be achieved. The Les Mierables trailer doesn’t give much away in terms of plot but I think the trailer looks really good and gives a great idea of what to expect. I will certainly be very surprised if this movie gets ignored by the Academy Awards.

Thankfully, Les Miserables looks more ‘The Sound of Music‘ rather than ‘High School Musical‘.