Mike Ryan is currently the senior editor at ScreenCrush. Mike most recently served as Senior Entertainment Writer for The Huffington Post. Previously, Mr. Ryan was a frequent contributor at Vanity Fair and Wired magazine and wrote for Time, GQ, ELLE-UK, and New York magazine.
Mike Ryan Biography
This post spawned from a curious desire to know what person appeared in the highest grossing films of the year. An extremely liberal definition of “appearance” was used: cameos and voice roles both count. So, basically, all a person has to do is actually appear in (or speak in) a movie and that movie’s worldwide box office numbers count toward that person's total.
I will be watching ‘Peter Pan Live’ tonight and I can’t wait. Yes, I might make a joke. I can’t help it sometimes. But that doesn’t mean I’m hate-watching. If I'm truly hate-watching, I'm miserable. I’m watching because I assume the experience will bring me pleasure. I’m expecting to like ‘Peter Pan Live,’ even if it's bad. And, right now, more than ever, it really feels good to like something.
Damien Chazelle’s film, ‘Whiplash’—the story of a future jazz prodigy (Miles Teller) and his manipulative, sadistic conductor (J.K. Simmons, who seems to be the odds-on favorite to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) has had quite the journey this year. It premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and wound up taking home the top prize. After, it steadily built momentum from word of mouth on the festival circuit and now, having been in release for two months, it still seems to be operating on a word of mouth system. (I still get text messages from friends back in the Midwest asking, “Should I see ‘Whiplash’? I keep hearing it’s good.”)
Maybe not every story about the sheer determination of the human spirit over impossible odds needs to be a movie. This was my thought while watching Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken,’ the true story of Louis Zamperini (played by rising star Jack O’Connell), a World War II hero who is brutally beaten to within an inch of his life in a Japanese prisoner of war camp so many times that I lost count. The real life story is inspiring—and it truly is remarkable that he survived—but to watch it play out in front of your eyes over and over and over again almost feels sadistic. It gets to the point that every time we see O’Connell on screen, we automatically think, “I bet this poor man is going to get beaten again, isn’t he?” And we are always right.
Coming up with a list of only 10 movies is not as easy as it sounds. But, after a series of heated debates, we are excited to finally reveal our definitive list of the Best 10 Movies. We are sure you might have your own 10 movies that you like, but we would be hard pressed to find a better list of 10 movies than the one ahead. So, let's just get to it: Here are the top 10 movies:
‘Wild,’ which stars another actor, Reese Witherspoon, who is seeking a reclamation of sorts after a high-profile arrest and spending the last few years in rom-com hell. Witherspoon already has an Oscar for her performance in ‘Walk the Line,’ but, other than that added twist, we are hearing the exact same things about a Vallée movie that we did last year.
Last night, I received an urgent message from editors: "With Thanksgiving this week, and football such a big part of Thanksgiving, you should write a piece on the best movies about football." "Sure," I replied. TO me, this seems like a very esoteric topic and I'm not sure there's a lot of interest in a post like this, but I certainly don't want to look like I'm not a team player and disregard a feature request. Anyway, here's a list of our eight favorite movie footballs! Happy thanksgiving! [Ed. note: We meant "football movies"]
After the November 17 New York City premiere of ‘Selma’—the new Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic that details his time during the Selma, Alabama civil rights marches—the film’s cinematographer, Bradford Young, speaking to the audience after, made a reference to this film being about today as much as it’s about 1964. While doing so, Bradford, who is an extremely passionate man, evoked images from what we all saw out of Ferguson, Missouri this past August. He then spoke emotionally about his job and his life and his family:
Matthew Goode has a way of being the best thing in a lot of movies, even without a lot of starring roles. In ‘The Imitation Game,’ he is surrounded by talented actors (and actors getting Oscar buzz), yet, still, Goode is a standout as the rival and sometimes friend of Alan Turing —the man who helped break the Nazi code and was then punished by his own government for being gay, which eventually led to Turing’s suicide. Ahead, in an extended interview (we had enough time that even ‘Chasing Liberty’ was brought up for reasons I can’t 100 percent defend), Goode discusses his what-should-be-awards-buzzing performance and why he can’t be in as many movies as we’d maybe like him to be.
On Sunday afternoon, we spoke to Emily Blunt who is promoting her role in Disney’s ‘Into the Woods.’ During this conversation, Blunt referenced her character in this summer’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ comparing that role to what a possible Marvel movie might be. It just so happens, Blunt’s name has been mentioned in Internet buzz as a possible lead in Marvel’s ‘Captain Marvel’ (due in 2018), which would be Marvel’s first movie with a female lead. Has Blunt heard this buzz? As it turns out, she has. And she seems to find that buzz quite flattering, but admits she has had no discussions with Marvel at this time.