Just How Accurate is Foxcatcher?

Foxcatcher, directed by Bennett Miller, is a historical biographical film about mark and Dave Schultz, two wrestlers who were recruited by the philanthropist John Eleuthère du Pont to train American wrestlers for the Olympics. The film has received mostly positive reviews and was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards (Best Motion Picture: Drama, Best Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama, and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture) as well as three Academy Awards (Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling).

The film is based on true events and, like any film based on history, does contain some inaccuracies and liberties with the real life events. However, the film was also accurate on many points; let’s look at three ways that Foxcatcher stuck (mostly) to the truth behind the movie.

John Eleuthère du Pont’s connection to the police

In the film, John du Pont is depicted as having a very friendly relationship with the police, local and otherwise; this relationship is implied as being one of the reasons why du Pont’s behavior was brushed aside and ignored for many years. This relationship–and subsequent protection–appears to be true to life. John du Pont actually allowed local police to practice shooting on his personal estate, and was awarded his own special official police badge; this badge allowed him access to certain personal perks, including (allegedly) drugs from police evidence vaults.

The Schultz brother rivalry

One of the primary storylines in Foxcatcher is a rivalry between Mark and Dave Schulz, the brothers trained by du Pont. This rivalry is mostly based on real life. Dave naturally excelled at wrestling due to his physicality, while Mark was better at more “limber” physical sports, such as gymnastics. Mark wrote in his memoir that he felt ‘resentful’ of his brother’s natural talent and that “down deep inside, I knew what my problem was. My ego.”

Mark’s “nearly impossible” binge session

In the film, Mark is shown retreating to his room during the Olympic trials and binge eating on an immense amount of food after a loss. His brother, however, gives him a pep talk that inspires him to do an intense crash workout that allows him to lose the “food weight” gained by his binge eating, go back to the trials, and win the next two matches.

This is based on a real life event from Mark Schultz’s memoir and is, barring a handful of small details, almost exactly true to life.

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Biggest Surprises (And Snubs) of the 2015 Golden Globes

 

The Golden Globes are always predictable—in the sense that they are always unpredictable. Films that may seem sure to win in a category might be snubbed, or an underdog might take up an award that no one thought they could win. The 2015 Golden Globes were certainly no exception to this rule, and social media was buzzing with every award announcement at the many surprises—and snubs—of the night. Let’s take a look at the biggest shocks of the 2015 Golden Globes awards.

Snub: Viola Davis passed over

Viola Davis’s performance in Shonda Rhimes murder mystery series How to Get Away with Murder was a complete shock–Davis was often cited as a “sure win” by many in the industry, not only due to her own excellent performance in the series, but the huge popularity of the series itself.

Surprise: Grand Budapest Hotel Wins for Best Film

Wes Anderson’s quirky hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel, was certainly not on anyone’s mind for the Best Picture Win. Especially since the film was up against some much more memorable–and more recent–hits. The film was released all the way back in March of 2014, which makes it even more unusual, since films released earlier in the year often have less of a chance of winning than later movies.

Snub: The Imitation Game wins (and is nominated for) nothing

The Imitation Game was considered one of the top contenders for the awards season, but it was completely snubbed at the Golden Globes—the film did not receive even a single nomination! This was a complete shock to many critics and fans of the film alike. Thankfully, however, the film was not overlooked for the Oscars: it snagged nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Editing.

Surprise: Amy Adams wins for Big Eyes

Amy Adams won for lead actress in a comedy or musical for her performance in Burton’s mixed review film, Big Eyes; before her win, many in the industry felt that Emily Blunt’s critically praised performance in Into the Woods was a sure-win in the category, but Adams underdog performance—which was on the back of her award winning performance in American Hustle—ultimately earned her the top prize. Despite her win, Adams was not nominated for an Academy Award for her performance.

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Why Maleficent Worked (And Why It Didn’t)

Disney’s Maleficent was a live-action twist on the Disney adaptation of the popular fairy tale. While the film was being projected to flop by many online critics due to the changes it made to the Disney telling of the story, the film was a box office smash—and will likely inspire similar films from Disney in the future. But why did the film work so well? And what changes, if any, could have made it even better? Let’s look at 2 reasons why Maleficent worked—and 2 things it could have done better.

Worked: Angelina Jolie was nearly perfect

Angelina Jolie was almost perfectly cast as Maleficent. Not only can she pull off the cold, heartless villain scenes required of the character, but she embodied the role with an undercurrent of warmth and desperation that made Maleficent a compelling protagonist—even if she did do some terrible things.

Didn’t work: The narration was unnecessary

Fantasy films often rely on narration to give the audiences backstories and clues to the fantasy world. In some cases, it’s necessary. In Maleficent’s case, the narration is almost completely unneeded—and it goes on for far too long. The narration in the film often told the audiences things that didn’t need to be said, such as saying that Aurora grew up to be a happy, loving child; or told us things that could have been shown with dialogue or visual cues, such as saying that Maleficent forgave Stefan when he came to her in the woods.

Didn’t work: The uneven pacing

Due to the narration and choppy time jumps, a good chunk of the film felt like a prologue to the rest of it. This uneven pacing makes certain aspects of the story—such as Maleficent and Stefan’s relationship, as well as Stefan’s mental decline—too shallow to be as emotionally impactful as they could be.

Worked: The changes to the story

There’s no doubt that a backstory to the “real” Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty would make an interesting film. But this new twist, which runs along the same type of storyline as the musical adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, is interesting enough to hold its own. The fact that Maleficent is not necessarily a hero—she does, after all, curse an innocent baby to take revenge on an adult—makes the film so much more than a retelling.

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4 Surprising Trivia Facts about Captain America: The First Avenger

 

The first Captain America film was released in 2011, which may seem like a lifetime ago to Marvel fans who have now eaten up the film’s sequel, as well as the character’s appearance in other Marvel franchise films. Yet it was the success of “The First Avenger” film that led to Marvel’s other box office hits, making the premiere Captain America film one of the most unique in the franchise. Just how well do you know this superhero film? Let’s take a look at 4 surprising trivia facts about the first of the “Marvel’s Avenger” films.

Chris Evans initially declined the role

Captain America was initially a very small guy
Captain America was initially a very small guy

Chris Evans was approached by the film’s producers to play the title role not once, not twice—but three times. Each time, Evans declined the role. After the third rejection, the film’s producers and directors asked him to attend a meeting where they eventually convinced him to sign on for the lead part.

Technology was used to create “skinny” Chris Evans

Tommy Lee Jones plays Chester Phillips
Tommy Lee Jones plays Chester Phillips

In the first part of the film, Steve Rogers was meant to be the visible underdog, short and skinny and unassuming; in other words, a character who was very unlikely to be chosen for the project. To accomplish this, the film’s design team used graphic technology to make Evans look smaller. This was done in two primary ways: by morphing Chris Evans head with a body double’s body and by using CGI to shrink Evans’ body.

 The film was intended as a standalone film

The movie maintained the original design of the Captain's costume
The movie maintained the original design of the Captain’s costume

The film was originally meant to be a standalone film without any connection to others in the Marvel franchise. But after Joss Whedon was brought on to direct to the Avengers, he requested that some script changes be made to the Captain America film that would help connect the storyline to The Avengers and further Marvel franchise films.

Chris Evans had a relatively low salary

After the US military got a hold of our hero he was transformed into the valiant superpowerful man that we all know today
After the US military got a hold of our hero he was transformed into the valiant super powerful man that we all know today

It may seem surprising to fans who now know Evans as one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, but Evans salary for the film was relatively low compared to the money he is making today. For his role in Captain America, Evans was contracted to receive $300,000. By comparison, he was paid $2 million for his role in The Avengers–though that is relatively nothing compared to the $50 million Robert Downey Junior received. Evans’ salary for the Captain American sequel is unknown.

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4 Changes to “Gone Girl” that Book Fans Will Notice

David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gone Girl has achieved critical and box office success due to its fine performances, tight script and intense storyline. The film is based on a book of the same name by Gillian Flynn and, while the film was fairly faithful to the original novel, there are some differences that fans of the book will definitely notice. The following are some of the more memorable differences between the Gone Girl film adaptation and its source material.

Nick’s proposal to Amy is given more charm

In the film adaptation of Gone Girl, Nick’s proposal to Amy is sweeter and more charming than the book’s version; it is also meant to give a better idea of how nice Nick was to Amy before their marriage went sour. In the film, the “Amazing Amy” part where Amy’s parents behave in their characteristic selfish manner is saved by Nick, who proposes to Amy in front of the media.

Nick’s real alibi isn’t as pathetic

In the book, Nick’s real alibi for the morning that Amy disappears is rather pathetic: he snuck away from home to meet Andie, and then read old issues of his favorite men’s magazines in an abandoned parking garage. In the film, however, his alibi isn’t quite so sad: he went to the beach.

The fights between Amy and Nick are different

Almost all of the fights in the film differ from their novel counterparts. Several of the book’s memorable fights are also missing. For example, the film Nick and Amy don’t fight over packing their mattress when they’re getting ready to move to Missouri. And in the film, Nick and Amy have a fight over Nick’s spending problems—for example, he buys a brand new laptop and television after losing his job. This has the added bonus of making his later huge spending spree less shocking.

Amy doesn’t cut herself to get blood

Ben-Afflec-in-Gone-Girl

In the book, Amy cuts herself deeply to get the blood she uses to create a fake crime scene that she poorly cleans up in the house. In the film, however, Amy does not cut herself—instead she draws out a good amount of blood with syringes and splashes it onto the floor, which creates a more impressive crime scene that mimics a serious head injury instead of the vague injuries present in the book version.

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Surprising Trivia about Actor George Clooney

George Clooney is one of the most well-known actors of modern Hollywood—not only has George Clooney participated in some of the most well received television shows and films in the last 20 years, he has also become an outspoken activist for human rights and social issues. But there is much more to George Clooney than meets the eye—read on to find out some surprising trivia facts that you probably don’t know about one of the most widely respected actors in the world.

He once suffered from Bell’s palsy

George Clooney once suffered from Bell’s palsy for about a year when he was in middle school. Bell’s palsy is a condition which causes the face to become partially paralyzed, which can cause dropping, drooling and other minor ailments. Clooney’s condition cleared up on its own—some sufferers never regain the full use of their face—but he often remembers those years as tough due to taunting he received for his appearance.

He played an ER Surgeon twice—but not where you would expect

One of Clooney’s most well-known roles was on the hit medical drama E.R., but that wasn’t the only time the actor played a medical surgeon. He was given a special guest role in the South Park film as a surgeon who unsuccessfully tries to save the boy’s friend, Kenny.

He tried out for a professional baseball team

In 1997, Clooney decided to try out for the Cincinnati Reds, due to this love of the sport. However, he did not make it past the first round of audition cuts, and never auditioned for a professional sports team again.

He used to work in tobacco fields—and he used to smoke!

George-Clooney-speaks-about-Tomorrowland-on-ABC-newsGeorge Clooney wasn’t always an A-list celebrity. When he was young, he decided to take up work in the tobacco fields, where he often worked long hours in strenuous conditions.  Strangely enough, Clooney did not smoke cigarettes until his late 20s—but quit the habit when one of his uncles passed away from lung cancer.

His pet pig saved his life

Clooney had a pet pig named Max the Star; the pig was a gift from his (then) girlfriend Kelly Preston, and lived for 18 years. Clooney credits the pig for saving his life during the Northridge California earthquake of 1994—the pig woke Clooney up before the earthquake, which gave him enough time to get to a secure area.

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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Jennifer Lawrence

jennifer-lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has proven herself to be one of the most worthy popular actors in Hollywood today. Lawrence has performed in a range of different roles and has shown time and time again that she is capable of excelling at drama, comedy and everything in between. Although Lawrence is one of the most popular actors in modern Hollywood, there are still plenty of things that you may not know about her. The following are 4 things that you—probably—didn’t know about actress Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer-Lawrence-on-American-HustleShe likes to keep her “personal essentials” on hand at red carpet events

If you were to guess the contents of an A-list actress’s purse at an important red carpet event—like, say, the 2013 Academy Awards—you would probably think about things like money, makeup, and maybe a cell phone. Jennifer Lawrence revealed that she likes to keep some “personal essentials” in her purse at such events, and at the 2013 Oscars, she tucked in her phone, a bag of almonds, Laffy Taffy candy, and a Baby Ruth bar into her purse.

Jennifer-Lawrence-as-Tiffany-Mazwell-in-Silver-Linings-PlaybookShe isn’t afraid to order fast food

Lawrence isn’t afraid to eat her favorite foods—even when those favorite foods happen to be from the fast food giant McDonalds. While walking down the famous red carpet at the 2013 Academy Awards, Lawrence happened to spot a McDonalds restaurant across the street from the proceedings. After her obligatory photos and red carpet interview, Lawrence called her assistant and asked them to walk across the street and get an order of fries, with a big side of ketchup!

Jennifer-Lawrence-in-JoyShe auditioned for Bella Swan

It’s hard to separate the infamous role of Bella Swan in the Twilight film series with Kristen Stewart, but Jennifer Lawrence was actually one of the many actresses to audition for the coveted role. Lawrence ended up not getting the role, but it’s probably just as well—if she had been cast in Twilight, it’s unlikely that she ever would have been cast as Katniss in The Hunger Games.

Jennifer-Lawrence-in-X-men-First-ClassShe’s a huge John Stamos fan

Jennifer Lawrence grew up watching the popular series Full House, and her favorite character from the show was Uncle Jesse, famously played by John Stamos. Lawrence actually met Stamos at a Hollywood party and, according to Lawrence, she acted so excited that he asked her if she “was on mushrooms.”

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A Guide to Tina Fey’s Many Awards

Tina Fey is one of the most popular comedians in recent memory, and certainly one of the most successful comedians in the past few decades. She is well known for her witty banter and her excellent comedic writing, which was a cornerstone of Saturday Night Live during her tenure there and has inspired several other successful enterprises as well. Her best known film work was her work on the film Mean Girls—a comedic hit that has entered into the halls of cult pop culture. Her best known TV work—aside from her role and writing on Saturday Night Live—was the comedy TV show, 30 Rock. Not only did Fey star in the show, she was the executive producer, creator and a writer as well.

It is only natural that Fey has been nominated and won many awards during her tenure on film and television. The following is a guide to her most notable awards and nominations.

Nominations

Fey’s first nomination came in 2001, when she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her Outstanding Writing for a Variety Program–which, at this time in her career, as Saturday Night Live. She was nominated for this same Emmy in 2003, again for Saturday Night Live.

In 2004, she was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for ‘Choice Comedian,’ which she was nominated for again in 2005. She was also nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Funny Female Star in 2005.

In 2007, she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the show 30 Rock. She was also nominated for a satellite Award and Television Critics Association Award in 2007 for her work on 30 Rock.

Wins

Fey has won many awards. Her awards include:

  • 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (30 Rock)
  • 2008 Emmy Award for Outstanding comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
  • 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Series–Comedy or Musical
  • 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series
  • 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (30 Rock)
  • 2010 Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Female Actors in a Comedy Series (30 Rock)
  • 2013 Emmy Award for Writing for a Comedy Series (30 Rock)
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A Guide to the Ratings of Person of Interest

Person of Interest is a CBS science fiction crime drama that stars Jim Caviezel as John Reese, an ex-CIA officer who is hired by a mysterious billionaire to stop violent crimes within New York City.

The show has received fairly high ratings, particularly for its genre on CBS. The pilot of the show earned the highest test ratings of any drama pilot for their network in the past 15 years—and has been described by CBS executives as having a certain “broad appeal” that is rare to find in any genre, much less science fiction. The show’s ratings were initially very high and nearly record breaking for CBS. Although the ratings have dropped in recent seasons, it still boasts decent ratings for the network and a large audience following.

The following is a guide to the ratings of the show’s full three seasons, as well as the ratings for the early episodes of its fourth season.

Season 1

The show‘s first season aired on Thursdays at 9:00 pm EST. The first episode of season 1 premiered on September 22nd, 2011 and earned 13.33 million viewers. The first season finale aired on May 17th, 2012 and earned 13.47 million viewers, just slightly higher than the season 1 premiere. The average amount of viewers for the season was 14.34, due to episodes towards the middle of the season that received very high ratings. Overall the show ranked #13 in the ratings during its Thursday night time slot.

Season 2

The show’s second season kept its time slot of Thursday at 9:00 PM EST. The first episode of season 2 premiered on September 27th, 2012; it earned a total of 14.28 million viewers. The finale of season 2 aired on May 9th, 2013 and earned 13.16 million viewers. The average amount of viewers was 16.07–again, due to episodes in the middle of the season that earned very high ratings. The show was ranked #5 overall on its Thursday night time slot.

Season 3

Person-of-interest-Tease-Shot-Kevin-ChapmanThe show’s third season aired at a new time: Tuesday at 10:00 pm EST. The premiere (September 24th, 2013) earned 12.44 million viewers, while the finale (May 13, 2014) earned only 10.9 million viewers. Season 3 had the lowest ratings of any season of Person of Interest, and the show’s ranking dropped down to #8 in its Thursday night time slot.

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5 Things you probably Didn’t Know About Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman was on the receiving end of some major critical praise in 2013 with his performance in the financially successful and award-winning musical film, Les Miserables. However, the actor is best known for his roles in the X-Men series, where he plays the muscular and often deadly Wolverine—as well as his many roles in musical theater. How well do you know Hugh Jackman? Let’s take a look at 5 things you probably didn’t know about this action star.

He didn’t plan on being an actor

Although Jackman has loved performing from an early age, and even put on shows and magic tricks for his family and friends, he wasn’t always planning on becoming a professional actor. He initially earned a university degree in communications and journalism. However, he signed up for a drama theory glass during his senior year and was, as he describes it, “bit by the acting bug.” His newfound passion caused him to attend the Western Australian Academy of Arts, which helped him launch his professional acting career.

He had a crush on Olivia Newton John

Jackman had a major crush on actress Olivia Newton John when he was growing up. He was so in love with the singer and actress that he kept a small poster of her underneath his desk, which he would occasionally kiss!

He’s a wedding singer–sometimes

Jackman is well known for his smooth vocals, and he’s even taken up the job of wedding singer–with one slight catch! He will only perform at his friend’s weddings and is not available for outside parties! One of his most famous gigs was at the wedding of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman in 2006.

He was offered the role of James Bond

Hugh-Jackman-on-X-men-Days-of-Future-PastIn 2006, Jackman was offered the lead role of James Bond in Casino Royale. However, Jackman was unable to accept the part because of some pretty major scheduling conflicts. Since he declined the role, the studio had to look for more actors; eventually, Daniel Craig was the actor who was cast in the part.

He was almost part of the Nolan Batman trilogy

In 2008, Jackman was almost cast in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night; Jackman was one of the few actors who were seriously considered for the role of Harvey Dent, who eventually became Two-Face, before Aaron Eckhart was cast.

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