Tag Archive: bryce dallas howard


The Appeal of Emma Stone

Born Emily Jean Stone the young actress took on the name Emma when registering with the Screen Actors Guild due to there already being an Emily Stone registered. That’s a nice little fact not many people will be too aware of. Anyway, Emma Stone is just one of a new wave of actresses who are currently winning critics over and gaining fans with every performance they put in. In this category I place Stone with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan among others. But there is something different that sets Emma Stone apart from the rest; she has a very distinct and intriguing appeal.

Emma Stone got her first leading role in 2010’s Easy A, a film which focusses on the novel A Scarlet Letter and parallels that with the main character’s life: Olive, played by Emma Stone. I believe that Stone’s performance here is a clear example of just what a wonderful actress she is to watch. Olive is caught up in a web of lies after just trying to shut her friend up by telling her that she has lost her virginity, when in fact she has not. All of this gets out of hand and pretty much ruins Olive’s life. But the way the story is told is from Olive’s first person perspective, already giving us Stone’s narration. As well as this the film uses the narrative device of Stone talking into her webcam (which becomes the screen). This makes Stone’s performance just seem incredibly relaxed and natural and allowing the audience to see her in this way brings us a lot closer to the character and, in effect, Emma Stone herself. Her performance is full of vibrancy and sarcastic humour, outshone only by the frankly quite incredible Stanley Tucci.

Before Stone’s Golden Globe nominated performance in Easy A she was already making a name for herself in the comedy genre. Stone’s first film role was in Superbad, a film that began a new era of comedy films. After Superbad she appeared in a few, shall we say interesting films: The Rocker, The House Bunny and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (but let’s not judge her) before getting back on the right track with Zombieland. Also worth noting, Stone actually auditioned for the role of Claire Bennett in Heroes but obviously lost out to Hayden Panettiere who really impressed casting directors: I would have much preferred to have seen Stone in the role though. But anyway…

Emma Stone’s career has continued to go from strength to strength and she has proven that she is not just a one trick pony, despite being more than comfortable and one of the funniest women in comedy film at the minute. She had supporting roles in Friends With Benefits and Crazy, Stupid, Love (where she would work with Ryan Gosling for the first of quite a few times over the next couple of years) before joining The Help. The Help features an ensemble cast of actresses, not one of whom puts a foot wrong in terms of their performance here. Stone joins the likes of Jessica Chastain (another relatively new actress who is just exceptional at her craft), Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard and Viola Davis. Stone’s performance helped The Help win many nomination and awards for it’s cast’s performances.

With The Amazing Spider-Man, Emma Stone became the latest actress to join the superhero film genre. However, unlike the latest incarnations of Pepper Potts, Lois Lane and Rachel Dawes we have seen, Stone’s Gwen Stacy was not the typical damsel in distress as she could more than hold her own; standing up to Flash, being incredible stubborn in an attempt to save New York that could have seen her killed as well as smacking The Lizard over the head during a fight with Spider-Man. Then Stone joined a much more testosterone fuelled ensemble in Gangster Squad, joining Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Anthony Mackie. She recently lent her voice to the prehistoric animation film from DreamWorks: The Croods.

I think you would have to go a long way to find any young actress working today with the combination of talent and on screen charisma that Emma Stone has. She has a wonderful presence on screen with a beautiful charm about her and her career shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Next year will see her reprise her role of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while Birdman (from the director of 21 Grams and Babel) is in pre-production. She is also signed on to star in Guillermo Del Toro’s exciting Crimson Peak which is snapping up a superb cast in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jessica Chastain.

Hopefully we will get to see Emma Stone taking the lead in more and more films over the next few years but for now I am happy enough seeing her play supporting roles if she continues to be as good as she is right now!

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Lara Croft is the most recognisable female video game character in the world. At the beginning of this century two Tomb Raider films were released with Angelina Jolie taking on the role and, despite the original film still being the most successful film adaptation of a video game in the United States, both this and its sequel were not too well received by critics. Also, in recent years, the video game side of the Tomb Raider franchise has been waning. Until 2013. Earlier this month a reboot of the video game series hit the shelves, simply titled Tomb Raider. It received huge critical acclaim, is one of the best games I have ever played and obviously went on to sell more than a million copies in less than 48 hours. So it seems the time is right to reboot the franchise on the big screen, but who should play Lara Croft?

Here are my candidates:

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Gemma Arterton

Arterton has had experience in big action films before: Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans. While none of these films were exactly brilliant it has given Arterton the skills necessary to be let loose on her own big action franchise. She is currently one of the best British actresses working today and her talent is undeniable. I would definitely like to see her given a chance as Lara Croft.

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Hayley Atwell

Atwell is more of a television actress but made her break in Hollywood recently in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger where her performance as Peggy Carter won her a lot of fans. She has shown her skills in Pillars of the Earth and The Duchess. However, her stock as a leading lady is yet to be tested and helming the Tomb Raider franchise could be a leap too far so early in her film career.

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Camilla Luddington

You may not know who Camilla Luddington is but she is the voice behind Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot of this year. On screen she has been in Californication, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy but is yet to make her break in the film industry. However, depending on how closely involved the game’s publishers and producers are in making the film (my guess being not very) then she may have an outside shot at landing the role.

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Alice Eve

This is a long shot and probably won’t be considered. She is set to appear in Star Trek Into Darkness later this year so will be getting a lot of exposure both on screen and off it (if you’ve seen the new trailer you’ll know what I mean) and so she may be worth the risk?

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Bryce Dallas Howard

As the only non-Englishwoman on the list she would probably be my least favourite for the role (I just think that as Lara Croft is English it would be nice to see an English actress take the part this time) but Bryce Dallas Howard could be a nice fit. Previously appearing in Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation, 50/50 and The Help she has shown off her action credentials as well as her acting abilities.

For me, it’s between Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell with Arterton just winning in my mind!

In a blatant marketing ploy, Sony is advertising this Spider-Man reboot as the most anticipated movie of the summer. However, this is clearly not true with the arrival of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus all released this summer as well. The Amazing Spider-Man is like that kid in school that everybody knows who they are, but nobody really wants to hang out with them; this may change as we approach its release date of July 3rd but right now, lets have a look at why we should be anticipating the new Peter Parker’s arrival.

Sony recently released the above preview; four minutes of footage from The Amazing Spider-Man and, although some scenes we had seen already, we were offered a new look at Spidey saving a child on a bridge which looks just as amazing as the title of the film suggests. It is possible to tell from what we have seen already and what we know that Marc Webb’s reboot of the character is really trying to distance itself from its predecessors.

Andrew Garfield unmasked as Spidey.

Andrew Garfield looks perfect as Peter Parker and he seems to be bringing some much needed wit and humour to New York’s friendliest web slinger, something that lacked with Tobey Maguire’s incarnation of the character. Being a fan of the comic book hero himself Garfield brings great enthusiasm to the role and his performance as Spider-Man is something to look forward to in itself. It will be interesting to see how the story plays out because we have seen more than one image of Spider-Man without the mask so will people know the secret identity of our hero? How will that work?

Ooh la la… Spidey’s love interest is blonde this time around.

One person who does know Peter Parker’s identity is love interest Gwen Stacy, played by the talented and wonderful actress Emma Stone. Gwen Stacy was Peter’s first love interest in the comic books and was largely unmentioned until she made an appearance in the final instalment of the previous trilogy played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In the comic books Gwen was unaware of Spider-Man’s true identity and her father knew Peter Parker was Spidey but in the film these roles have been reversed and it will be interesting to see how the fact that Gwen knows about Peter plays out and how their relationship develops with that knowledge.

Spider-Man’s foe in this reboot is Dr. Curt Connors or The Lizard as he may be better known to fans. The Lizard is a very popular nemesis of Spider-Man among fans and was to be featured in Sam Raimi’s next film if he continued his own franchise. Other differences from the original trilogy include mechanical web slingers rather than the controversial biological ones Peter inherited before and also the back story of Peter Parker. With his family’s past being a key plot detail in The Amazing Spider-Man it has been hinted that it won’t just be the spider bite that gives Peter his powers, but maybe something to do with his parents tampering with his biological structure. How this move will go down with fans remains to be seen yet.

With Marc Webb directing I think that a great importance will be paid to the relationships between characters as this is something that Webb brought out superbly in (500) Days of Summer. He has claimed that this reboot will hint at future villains and storylines and has even said that he will be working on the sequel, therefore he and Sony must feel that they have a hit on their hands here.

A brief look at Spider-Man taking on The Lizard featured in one of the trailers.

The Amazing Spider-Man has been largely pushed to the side do far this year and maybe rightly so; The Avengers was something everyone was waiting for to see their favourite heroes on screen together while The Dark Knight Rises concludes Christopher Nolan’s near perfect Batman trilogy but hopefully the film won’t suffer because of the other comic book movies out this year. The trailers show promise, as do Garfield and Stone and I for one, am hotly anticipating Spider-Man’s next arrival.