David O. Russell

Jennifer & Joy

It’s awards season once again! And for the third year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence is nominated on the awards circuit for her work in a David O. Russell film!

You know what definitely doesn't get an award? That fake ass snow!

You know what definitely doesn’t get an award? That fake ass snow!

For those of you keeping track at home, Jennifer won the Critics Choice, SAG award, Golden Globe, and Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook in 2013, plus the BAFTA and Golden Globe for American Hustle last year. Those weren’t even her first big nominations, of course. She was nominated for the Oscar for Winter’s Bone in 2011, before she signed on for The Hunger Games.

It was absolutely no surprise to us that Jennifer was nominated once again for her latest, Joy. It’s become really hip to say she’s overrated these days, but that is PURE MELLARKY (See what we did there?! We’re proud.) The girl has more natural acting talent than some actors muster over a decades-long career. She’s acted the hell out of everything we’ve ever seen her in and we have no doubt that she’s great in Joy.

But here’s the kicker this time around: In early reviews, Joy is not doing too hot.

We try not to give too much credence to critics. There are just far too many snobs out there who hate just about anything, especially if its popular, because it distract too much from ~*~the art~*~. Like The Hunger Games or David O. Russell movies or Jennifer Lawrence or what have you! But many of the reviews we’ve seen seem pretty similar: They essentially say Jennifer acts the hell out of what she has to work with, but the script doesn’t offer much originality or do the story justice.

Tough lady wields a shotgun trope!

Tough lady wields a shotgun trope!

It’s definitely something we’re having trouble reconciling. Joy has a significantly worse score on Rotten Tomatoes than Mockingjay Part 2– which got a hefty chunk of critical hate– and it was still nominated in the Best Musical Or Comedy category. And generally, even if an actor is superb, they don’t often get nominated for films that aren’t critically-acclaimed on the whole. Perhaps its just one of those rare cases were the film appeals to the Hollywood Foreign Press, but not necessarily the industry of professional critique on the whole? Or is David O. Russell still somehow riding the perks of his last two successes? It’s hard to know!

One thing is sure: We’re going to have to figure this mystery when Joy hits theaters in a couple weeks!

Joy To The World, We Guess?
The Girl With The Pearl


Josh and Franco

While we’ve been toiling away wishing for more Mockingjay Part 2 news, the principle cast of our favorite franchise have all gone off and got them selves some fancy new gigs. Now this is where I’d usually wax on and on about Jen working with David O. Russell again, but not today! Today it’s all about James Franco. Yes, you read me right– JAMES FRANCO, shout-y letters and all. Our beloved Peeta is currently filming a film with James Franco, the man who collects advanced degrees, and makes memes out of himself on Instagram, has about 80 different jobs at once, is starring and directing. Awkward runs on sentences aside, this is pretty interesting news! Why? ‘Cause the film is an adaptation of one of John Steinbeck’s lesser known novels, In Dubious Battle. Steinbeck of course is the American fiction writer best known for novels like East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Cannery Row, and a collection of short stories including The Red Pony.

This is the second Steinbeck adaptation I have heard anything about in the last twenty years. The last was oddly enough Gary Ross’s announcement that he’d like to try his hand at a two part adaptation of East of Eden, starring Jennifer Lawrence no less. However, instead of our dear Jen stepping into a role created by Mr. Steinbeck– it’s Josh. I gotta say I like this development.

Now everyone stare at Josh in Great Depression Era clothes, and not think “District 12 is calling for its clothing back!”

Check out that pageboy cap!

Check out that pageboy cap!

Yes, that's Selena Gomez.

Yes, that’s Selena Gomez.

All right, that’s enough! Now everyone go read In Dubious Battle!

Them There Eyes

David, You Shouldn’t Have

I think it’s pretty much a given now that every other

Hunger Games fandom member thinks that David O. Russell is a special kind of person. And that special kind of person is most likely spelled A.S.S.H.O.L.E. But (oh yeah there’s a but, maybe even a butt as well), isn’t that certain kind of quality in a person kind of needed every now and again? Assholes get things done, yep– just like bitches tend to get things done. We may not like ’em as people, but the fruits of their asshole-y/bitchy nature are sometimes our most favoritest things. We just kind of wish we didn’t have to know about their true nature, am I right?

Yeah, hi, I’m taking a different tack on the whole, “David O. Russell compared Jennifer Lawrence’s working on The Hunger Games franchise to the film 12 Years A Slave… he’s horrible person, he must die now, slowly and painfully!” I don’t think so guys, like at all– yes, I think he was in the wrong, but when I read his comments initially, I was probably not as offended as everyone else. Maybe I’m just a wholly insensitive person, or maybe I’m the following kind of person– the kind that complains mercilessly to her friends about work, barely focuses on the good points, and thus my friends think my work life sucks– which sometimes it does. I assume with a modicum of knowledge of the personal lives of David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence, that they are in fact friends as well as colleagues; and therefore I also assume that sometimes their communication takes the form of run-on sentences received through text message, snip-it voice conversations between writing sessions and planning meetings for him, and breaks between shots, makeup applications, and long van rides to locations for her. Their lives are being shared, and through the

You should go see 12 Years A Slave, because maybe David O. Russell hasn't

You should go see 12 Years A Slave, because maybe David O. Russell hasn’t

sometimes cold, hard, tools of today’s technology, the sharing is quick, shrewd, and laced with the dirty sometimes very unpleasant truths of their working lives. Sure Jennifer Lawrence is being paid a butt load of money, and by butt load I mean millions, sure she’s one of the most coveted and successful actresses to come out of seemingly the woodwork in five years, if that Oscar, that Golden Globe, and those box office numbers don’t prove that I don’t know what will. However, after all that is said and done– none of it doesn’t mean that sometimes her work days suck, fucking ass.

Comparing working for millions of dollars, and being in one of the most successful film franchises of the decade to slavery, was wrong. I think I needed to state that, however what I’m getting as here is this, maybe all the knowledge O. Russell has of her work life on the franchise is negative? Money aside, success aside, physical exhaustion, medical issues, a multitude of bad hair days, having her privacy revoked, these are not fun, happy, totally awesome things. Did she sign up for it? Kind of. Should he not have said those things? You bet your bippy! Am I kind of glad he did though? Yeah. Why? Because it beats hearing about Justin Bieber. What maybe, kinda, sorta offended and shocked me somewhat equally? The expletives, the calls to um well— forms of rape, and the down right naughty things I saw people saying at or to David O. Russell. And he heard you– that’s why he apologized, although many don’t think it was sincere, like at all. Was it really poor timing on his part bringing this can of worms out in the open right smack in the middle of the awards season? Uh huh.

Bottom line: Jennifer Lawrence is going to have a really interesting next few weeks thanks to David O. Russell, and also to David O. Russell– ’cause in my head there are two of him.

Them There Eyes

Everyday She’s Hustlin’

During the week, the first trailer for David O. Russell’s American Hustle, starring Jennifer Lawrence, was released. Which, strangely enough, left a few Hunger Games fans confused. Omg why would Jen want to be in this movie?! Shouldn’t she be doing more age appropriate roles? Why won’t she do a comedy or romantic movie?


I say ‘a few’ because for the most part everyone is stoked to see Jennifer do yet another interesting and different role. But this kind of attitude is so baffling to me that I have to address the few comments and posts I’ve come across.

Why would she want to be in American Hustle? Could it be that she’d love another chance to work with David O. Russell again? And Bradley Cooper, who she’s now filmed 3 movies with? And maybe the rest of that stellar cast full of fellow Oscar winners and nominees. Not to mention Jennifer isn’t shy about how much a great script and an intriguing character draws her to roles. It’s a bit absurd to criticize this film choice, considering the cast, director and December release date make it a prime vier for awards season.

It’s a blessing for Jennifer to be offered roles like this at her age. Actors her age are struggling for C-list movies and crappy TV pilots. Jennifer doesn’t make it a secret that she does want to have a typical acting career. We don’t blame her for not wanting to be stuck in the predictable rom-com genre (*coughs*Jennifer Aniston*coughs* *coughs*Katherine Heigl*coughs*). It’s pretty understandable that she’s gravitating more towards the grittier roles, especially since it helps balance out her bigger budget franchise roles.

Please don’t wish a cliche acting career on Jennifer Lawrence. She’s one of very few who is paving her own way in the biz, let her do her thing.

Plus who wouldn’t want her character’s hair, makeup and wardrobe?!

What Else They’re Doing

nextI don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but the people who make up the cast of The Hunger Games franchise are pretty damn busy lately, and I don’t just mean Jennifer Lawrence. Although Jen probably wins for most busy though. Why? ‘Cause they wrapped on re-shoots for Catching Fire only a smattering of weeks ago, and now she’s jetted off to Boston to film another film with David O. Russell at the helm, Bradley Cooper will also co-star (third time’s the charm?), Jeremy Renner, and none other than Christian Bale is playing her husband. After that project wraps, I’ll make the educated guess that she’ll be off to Vancouver, B.C. to film her second X-Men film. Busy Bee, we should just call her that now, and she wouldn’t even be able to call foul, ’cause it’s so true, she’d probably cheer us on, and then ask for a Bud. Jen’s not the only cast member though, obviously– so who else is racking up the projects? Well, pretty much all of them!

Let’s start with the most random! Ashton Moio AKA, District 6 Tribute Boy was on HBO’s The Newsroom last season, and his character even had a name, which was Lester, he even had lines, and he didn’t die– it was awesome. Ashton deserves a slow clap for that, or maybe for being the guy with the audacity to hit on Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) in the middle of working out a story, all whilst stuck on the tarmac at JFK International Airport. I am slow clapping my ass off right now, ’cause he was hilarious. Really– everyone go catch up on The Newsroom before the second season premieres later this year (probably August).

Next we have fan-favorite Dayo Okeniyi, and yes– I still have to look up how to spell his last name every single time I have to type it out. I’m sorry, Dayo, but that’s a lot of vowels. Anyway, aside from Dayo’s unique last name with all the letters that trip me up, he has been really really busy since the summer before last, otherwise known as The Summer of The Hunger Games. Actually it’s not known as that, I just made that up, but it sounds better than the summer of 2011. Back to Dayo! After Hunger Games wrapped Dayo went and made a whopping four films! I say whopping because four films in two years, means– well, a lot of time being four different people. He’s an actor, that’s what he does– pretends to be other people. A little fandom-crossing may be in the mix as well with the projects Dayo let justin-timberlake-team-up-with-ben-affleck-in-runner-runnerbarrow his talent, The Spectacular Now, which premiered at Sundance this past January, well– it stars Sheilene Woodly, also known as Triss from Divergent. And if you consider John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars to have a fandom, or just Nerdfighteria, Sheilene was just cast in the lead for the adaptation of that masterful novel. Other works in the works for Dayo are a horror film called Slew Hampshire, which I’ll probably never see– ’cause I don’t like horror. No, not because it scares me, because I find it entirely predictable, and laughable. What’s next? Ah yes, a guy-centric film appropriately titled Cavemen, that one’s starring Skylar Astin, AKA Jesse from Pitch Perfect. It looks like it could be an examination on the hopelessness of being a young man living in the 2010’s, also Chad Michael Murray is co-starring, which that freaks me out a little bit. The most interesting project on Dayo’s short but notable dossier, is his most recent project, Runner Runner, what makes it interesting is the starring roles are filled with names like Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlack, and Gemma Arterton. I’ll tell ya’, I’m intrigued just by seeing those names, synopsis of the project is this though, “a businessman who owns an offshore gambling operation finds his relationship with his protégé reaching a boiling point.” I’ll see it, hell– I’ll probably see it opening weekend.

What’s next!? Okay, this might kick Ashton Moio off the most random pedestal, because if you didn’t know it already, Alan Ritchson, our dear, shiny, strong jawed, Gloss, as well as our funny man (he’s really funny, check out his Twitter), has been cast as the voice of Raphael in the new Ninja Turtles re-boot. Also, before he did Catching Fire, he made a film with John Goodman called Spring Break ’83. I may have to see this film just because it takes place the year, and probably the week I was born.

I’ll be honest this one gets me really excited, guys! Jeffrey Wright, our Beetee, has taken a recurring role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire! I love this series, it’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and Mark Wahlberg– which if you haven’t been paying attention for the last 30 + years, produce very good films, and television shows. Any who, about Boardwalk, it’s a period piece set in prohibition era Atlantic City, New Jersey, it’s amazing, and it also stars Steve Buscemi. Wright’s going to be Boardwalk-Empire-boardwalk-empire-16631480-1600-1200portraying a shady sort, as pretty much everyone on the series is, but even better he’ll be a “philanthropist who controls Harlem.” Shivers just ran down my spine, because not only were the 1920s ripe with the on-set, and/or invention of organized crime, but they were also the birth of so many American cultural markers, like The Harlem Renaissance, the popularizing of jazz, and the beginning of the rise of some of the great American novelists we still consider great today. So, Wright’s going to be fictionally rubbing elbows with likely cultural icons like Langston Hughes, or even Louis Armstrong, which means a wider audience might be exposed, or re-exposed to this age of rich cultural goodness. Color me happy!

That’s all folks!

Them There Eyes

Permission to Stalk Jennifer Lawrence?

Oh, Jennifer Lawrence! You’ve had such an exciting week, but we’re getting awfully excited about an upcoming project of yours!

Massachusetts according to Bostonians

A brief look at The Girl With The Pearl’s fine state…

David O. Russell’s upcoming film about the Abscam scandal doesn’t even have a title yet, but if the rumors are to be believed, it does have something else: Filming Locations. New York and Boston.

We know your part is small and chances are you won’t be in every filming location, but we’re really hoping you’re in Boston. Mainly because I’m in Boston. Well, I’m elsewhere in Massachusetts, but I CAN be in Boston.

Look, I’ve never done this before. This is new to me! I just have one simple question for Jennifer Lawrence:

Only for a day or two, of course. I can’t take too much time off work! And only if you’re filming in some sort of public setting where curious bystanders can hang out without being total creeps. Maybe if there’s a call for extras, because I’m a great clueless bystander type! I could even bring along my future brother-in-law, who was an extra in another David O. Russell film, The Fighter (and actually made it into the movie!)

Yes… Yes! The plan is unraveling now! Muahahaha!

I’ll do things like quietly watch how films are made! And smile politely, perhaps even manage to mention what a big fan I am if you come close enough that I don’t have to shout out, but only when the cameras aren’t rolling. Don’t worry, I would never even choke up the courage to ask for an autograph or a picture! (TRUE STORY: The only celebrity I’ve ever asked for a picture is Rupert Grint, and it’s perhaps the worst picture of me I have ever taken IN MY LIFE. I made rabid hyenas look classy.)

Pretend I'm not there and Rupert's whole face IS there...

Pretend I’m not there and Rupert’s whole face IS there…

… Okay, so maybe I’m not that great of a stalker. Hell, I wouldn’t even hide outside Jennifer Lawrence’s hotel! I don’t completely understand why us Average Joes always feel compelled to see celebrities in person, we just do. We know, deep down, that she’s the same as everyone else, except she’s got a really excellent job. WE KNOW. Yet we still have to see it for ourselves, almost as if to prove that Jennifer Lawrence is a real person. (ANOTHER TRUE STORY: I once had a three sentence conversation with Mark Wahlberg without realizing it was Mark freakin’ Wahlberg. I think I made zero impression.)

Anyway, everyone at Victor’s Village hopes you stop by. At the very least, I’ll make you some fairly corny list of things us working class kids do in Boston!

But If You Do The Accent And Mess It Up… NO MERCY,
The Girl With The Pearl

Holy News Day, Batman!

mockingjay-part-1-mockingjay-part-2-movie-release-dateI really mean Batman. I’m sorry, where do I start? For the last few weeks we’ve had a virtual dry-spell of solid, reputable, and interesting news on The Hunger Games franchise front, as well as news pertaining to the beloved cast, that includes new projects etc. Today though, aha, not today! I don’t know what came first, so I’ll just begin with what I became privy to first, and that’s the mounting news that Danny Strong, I so want to add esquire to his name now, and I doubt he’d mind if I did– so, Danny Strong (Esquire), has turned in his screenplay adaptation of Mockingjay, which we all should know by now is only the first half of the novel, at least that’s what I’m assuming. Any who, with the info that Strong (Esquire), has turned in his screenplay, the subsequent news is that the studio liked it enough to contract him to write Part Two. Guys, we have Part Two likely being written right now, which means– stuff. I’m at a loss for words at this point, because my brain is still processing that Part One is finished, and all I want to know, more than who the hell is going to play Annie Cresta, is where did he split the novel!?

In my head one of the perfect places to split the novel in two, when adapted to the screen, has always been when Peeta and Katniss are reunited in the belly of District 13, and we get that confusing as hell moment where he starts to choke her. Perfect cliff-hanger to me, because face it, they don’t have Dobby’s death to break up this story. They do however have the mental death of the Peeta we all know, and love to itty-bitty pieces. We all know the saying “leave them wanting more”, and that is is where my mind goes if they do decide to fade to black after Peeta reaches out, and attempts to squeeze the life out of Katniss. Other moments where the split might feel natural is Chapter 9, or this moment…

“But between the images, we are privy to the real-life action being played out on the set. Peeta’s attempt to continue speaking. The camera knocked down to record the white tiled floor. The scuffle of boots. The impact of the blow that’s inseparable from Peeta’s cry of pain.

And his blood as it splatters the tiles.”

This is literally where Part II: The Assault begins, which in my head makes so much sense to split the story there, it’s almost uncanny. Imagine the impact of seeing the splatter of blood on tiles, and then the scramble, or the look on Katniss’ face realizing Peeta may be dead within minutes, and the static screen, and the mad silent look of horror permeating everyone’s minds and faces.  Cliff-hangers are beautiful things, my friends, this is what I learned from nine seasons of The X-Files. Other people have their opinions, like that the story should be split when Katniss learns that Gale has left District 13 with a squad to rescue Peeta and co. But to me, that moment doesn’t have enough momentum to it, and/or action. Think about it.

Now for the other news to pierce our souls today, or at least mine. Jennifer Lawrence is going to be doing a film with Batman. I mean it, she’s signed on, according to Deadline, to be in David O. Russell’s next project, which boasts a cast that already includes these fine tumblr_m93cgikMd21rrgmn4-1gentlemen: Christian Bale, also known as Batman, Bradley Cooper, and none other than Jeremy Renner. I have to confess, Christian Bale is high on my list of actors who I’d love to be considered for the role of Boggs, and yes– I’m wholly aware of him being only in his late 30s, just like Bradley Cooper– but he’s one of the best actors of his generation, and an Academy Award winner. Also, seriously if you have a problem with Christian Bale taking up residence in the role of Captain Boggs in my head, along with countless others, it’s my head– and it’s a fantastic place to live, I’m telling you. In my wonderful head space though, even if Christian, Bradley, or Jeremy are not cast as Boggs, consolation prize is they will all be in a movie together, and I’ll probably end up buying a copy of it.

I need cake.

Them There Eyes