Friday, October 3, 2014

Stars to Watch: Part 15 – Movies Spotlight – October 2014

What She Has Been In:

Rosamund Pike, 35, got her start, while still as university, with small roles on British television. Her first big break came in 2002 when she was cast as Bond Girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day. Since then, she has been working consistently, taking mostly supporting roles waiting for her next big break (which seems to have taken twelve years to materialize). She has made many bad Hollywood films (and the British equivalent) to pay the bills, including: Doom, Surrogates, Johnny English Reborn, Wrath of the Titans, and A Long Way Down. Yet, Pike is always good in them, even when they are terrible. She also made a few decent smaller films, including: The Libertine, Fracture, Fugitive Pieces, Made in Dagenham, and The Big Year.

Pike, however, has made some excellent films as well. She is fantastic in Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice, playing Elizabeth Bennet’s (Keira Knightley) older, somewhat hapless sister Jane. She is also wonderful in An Education playing the glamourous and maybe a little clueless girlfriend of Danny (the chum of David, the older man Carey Mulligan’s Jenny falls for). She too is great playing one of Barney Panofsky’s ex-wives in Barney’s Version, a little gem that most have not seen, but should.

More recently, she has started to appear in bigger profile films (finally). She co-starred along with Tom Cruise in his action/thriller Jack Reacher and ended up as one of the gang in Edgar Wright’s fantastically fun The World’s End.

October Film:

Pike has always had the talent to be one of the best actresses working today. She just has had a tough time finding/getting great roles (there are a lot of very good actresses right now, and not many good parts). That is, until now. In October, she stars opposite Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s mystery drama/black comedy (as many are calling it for its treatment of modern news media) Gone Girl, based on the very popular Gillian Flynn novel (Flynn also penned the screenplay). The film is brilliant, and might contend for a Best Picture Oscar (it is definitely good enough a film to do so). Pike, too, may even find herself nominated for an Oscar. Here is the trailer.


Pike does not have a lot on her schedule right now; but after the critical and commercial success of Gone Girl, she will be getting some calls.

Career Highlights:

1)      Pride & Prejudice (2005)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      An Education (2009)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      Barney’s Version (2010)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
4)      Jack Reacher (2012) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
5)      The World’s End (2013)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

What She Has Been In:

Kaitlyn Dever, 17, started her career at the age of five, enrolling in acting school. From there she took single-episode roles in many TV series, highlighted by: Modern Family (the Fizbo episode), Party Down (the Company Picnic episode), and Curb Your Enthusiasm (The Divorce episode). She also has small supporting roles in Bad Teacher, J. Edgar, and The Spectacular Now (a brilliant teen drama, if you have not seen it yet).

Dever has also found bigger roles on television as well. She is a series regular on the Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing, playing his daughter Eve. She is also very good in a reoccurring role on the modern western Justified (one of the best shows currently on TV). She plays Loretta McCready, a troubled young girl who Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan takes a liking to and helps out of a bad situation. She is mostly in season two, but pops up in seasons three and five as well.

Dever had a minor breakthrough, feature wise, in 2013 with her great supporting work in Short Term 12. I say minor, because not many people saw the film, which is too bad because it is wonderful. She plays one of the troubled girls that Brie Larson looks after, Larson’s Grace taking a special interest in her.

October Films:

Dever has two films due out in October. First, she stars in Jason Reitman’s new film Men, Women & Children, playing the daughter of Jennifer Garner (who is a crazy over-protective mother). The film is about love, relationships, and communication in the modern age (the internet, everyone online technology age). The film was originally thought to be a potential Oscar hopeful and would have served as a great springboard for Dever (as she has a good role in it), but critics have not been kind to the film. Maybe it will find its audience, however, once it opens wide. Here is the trailer.

Later in the month, Dever has a supporting role in Laggies – the new comedy/drama from Lynn Shelton. The film stars Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, and Chloe Grace Moretz. Dever plays Moretz’s high school friend. The film is about Knightley’s Megan, a woman approaching her thirties who is just not ready to grow up. In fact, she actively fights against it, deciding to hang out with Moretz, a high school student, instead of facing her own life. It looks like a great little dramedy (and is one of the films I most want to see this month). Here is the trailer.


Dever has a few indie dramas in the pipeline including Grass Stains and The Greens Are Gone, and continues to star on Last Man Standing. She has a lot of talent and should have a bright future as she grows into meatier parts.

Career Highlights:

1)      Short Term 12 (2013)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      Justified (2011-2014)* – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

What He Has Been In:

Logan Lerman, 22, always wanted to be an actor, auditioning for parts and commercials as early as the late 1990s. His first role came in 2000’s The Patriot in which he played one of Mel Gibson’s sons. He continued to take small roles in films including: What Women Want, Riding in Cars with Boys, The Butterfly Effect, and The Number 23. He started to get bigger roles starting with taking leading roles in the TV series Jack & Bobby and the young adult film Hoot.

Lerman then started to get more substantial films roles. He plays Christian Bale’s son in 3:10 to Yuma, plays the ‘gamer’ in the awful action film Gamer, and has a supporting role in Stuck in Love (something moviegoers like, but critics not so much – I agree with the critics). He also got big parts in Hollywood. He stars in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and its sequel Sea of Monsters, as well as playing D’Artagnan in the latest adaptation of The Three Musketeers (it too is not very good, but I found it highly entertaining – it has a fantastic cast and is just so ridiculous).

Other than 3:10 to Yuma, Lerman had not really appeared in good work, however; but, that has changed recently. In 2012 he starred in The Perks of Being a Wallflower opposite Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Lerman plays Charlie, a troubled high school kid who desperately wants to make friends and fit in at his new school, but he is also fighting his own demons. It is a great film that I highly recommend, especially for fans of teen dramas. Earlier this year, Lerman again worked with Watson in Darren Aronofsky’s ambitious telling of the Noah’s Ark Bible story (called Noah). It is very dark and dramatically powerful.

October Film:

In October, Lerman co-stars with Brad Pitt in David Ayer’s WWII action/drama Fury. It also features Shia Labeouf, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal. It is about a five-man tank crew who are tasked with an impossible mission in April of 1945. It is likely they will not come back. Lerman plays a rookie soldier who joins the crew for the mission. It looks like it will be a strong drama with great action. Many believe it is in contention for a Best Picture Oscar nod (although, no one has seen it yet). Here is the trailer.


Lerman does not have anything firm on his upcoming schedule, but as one of Hollywood’s best up-and-coming actors, that should change soon.

Career Highlights:

1)      3:10 to Yuma (2007) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
2)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)* – lead (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
3)      Noah (2014) – supporting (Blu-ray, Video On-Demand, Trailer)
*Editor’s picks

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