Archive for the Film in General Category

Update… HB returns to Email!

Posted in Film in General on February 10, 2010 by C.F. Varnau

Great news readers! Hollywood Blockbusters is returning to their email roots once again with the FREE online newsletter. And we’ve stepped it up a notch!

Articles now include new films playing in theaters as well as DVD reviews and editorials. You can still read articles from here, but the Email newsletter offers more engaging insight into the movie world. Plus, we’re sending it out weekly for the first time in four years!

How do you subscribe? Send an email to Subscriptions cost nothing, there is no spam and you don’t need a Yahoo email or membership to subscribe! Just send us an email and we’ll hook you up!

Check it out now. You won’t be disappointed.


A message to aspiring filmmakers…

Posted in Film in General on January 19, 2010 by C.F. Varnau

To young filmmakers everywhere:

Made a movie? Got a site? Want somebody to know about it?

Hollywood Blockbusters fully supports true independent film, and in the spirit of the indie film market, we’re sending out an offer to any rising filmmakers out there to advertise FOR FREE right here on the Hollywood Blockbusters Blog. No charge, no stipulations. Just send us a link and we’ll put your site on ours, as well as a small description and link in our upcoming weekly e-mail newsletter.

And if you like, we’d love it if you plug us on your site as well.

Send an email with a link and a description of your work to See you on the big screen!

The Hollywood Blockbusters Staff

The 2009 Oscars: A Prediction by Nick Varnau (let’s hope I’m right)

Posted in Film in General on February 18, 2009 by C.F. Varnau

The Academy Awards, aka The Oscars… a time where celebrities and movie fans alike sit back and look at the previous year in film, and then decide once and for all who is the best in what category. Right now, it’s the best time for moviegoers… this is the “Road to the Oscars,” where everything good is in theaters and it’s too cold to do anything else.

But if you just got back from the theater, grab a drink (to refresh you from the salt in the popcorn), print this entry, and sit back and read my 2009 Oscar predictions based on educated guesses from someone who  thinks he knows something about this stuff. Here’s what I think:

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
COMMENT: I’m disappointed with two of these movies being up for Best Picture when another film clearly deserved it more: eight-time nominee “The Dark Knight.” “Benjamin Button” received thirteen nominations, and deserves some of them, but I think it’s the Oscars’ most overrated film of the year. The other film I’m disgruntled about is “The Reader.” Good movie. But not great, and not Best Picture. “Frost/Nixon” is a very good movie, well-acted and well-directed. It won’t get it. It’s bested by both “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Both films are worthy of the title.
FINAL PREDICTION: “Slumdog Millionaire.” The film is just awesome. “Milk” is excellent no doubt, and part of me wishes it would win, but I doubt the Academy would give their highest award to a film about gay rights. “Slumdog” will get it.

Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Stephen Daldry, “The Reader”
David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”
COMMENT: I think this one’s a no contest. All of these directors are great, but one of them shone brightly this year, and deserves it the most.
FINAL PREDICTION: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”
Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”
COMMENT: Again, all very strong performances. I doubt Pitt or Jenkins will get it, though Pitt has a higher chance. Frank Langella could, but I think it comes down to Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke for “Milk” and “The Wrestler” respectively.
FINAL PREDICTION: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler.” I think Penn’s performance was more dynamic, but I think Rourke’s performance was more real. Rourke deserves it. He’s been through a lot. I pick him as an upset, but don’t yell at me if Penn wins.

Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Meryl Streep, “Doubt”
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
FINAL PREDICTION: Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married.” Anne Hathaway has this one pretty easily. She’s got the skill, she’s got the hype… I think she’s got it.

Josh Brolin, “Milk”
Robert Downey Jr, “Tropic Thunder”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”
COMMENT: These were all great performances, but only one shone brighter than any performance this year: Heath Ledger as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Dead or alive, he deserves to be awarded the Oscar for that part. It was an incredible piece of acting.
FINAL PREDICTION: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight.”

Amy Adams, “Doubt”
Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Christina Barcelona”
Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”
FINAL PREDICTION: Viola Davis, “Doubt.”

That’s all the big ones. To catch the full outcome, tune in Sunday night to the ceremony, hosted by Hugh Jackman, and look for me on the red carpet (I won’t be there, but it’s always fun to look).

Releasing Today, 2/13/2009

Posted in Film in General on February 13, 2009 by C.F. Varnau

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” is based on a book series by Sophie Kinsella, about a compulsive shopper who lands a job as an advice columnist at a financial magazine. PJ Hogan directs (you’ll remember him from “My Best Friend’s Wedding”) and Isla Fisher stars.

Says director Hogan: “I think it’s very hard to make romantic comedies. I think they’re a really, really tough genre and as a director you have to bring something different to the genre and I was very lucky I had the books which I think are absolutely wonderful, and I thought if I can capture that off the wall humor, that eccentric spirit that informs Sophie’s writing, if I can capture that on film, then maybe we’ll have something.”*

Also releasing today is the suspense film “The International,” starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. The film is about an Interpol agent trying to stop a bank dealing with an international arms dealing operation.

“The thing that attracted me to it,” remarked Clive Owen to, “was that it felt like those ’70s paranoid political thriller. It was intelligent, it was well-researched, it was based in facts, but at the same time it was also very obviously a big, international, exciting thriller and it was marrying the two together, and very well.”

And finally in theaters is the remake to the hit slasher film, “Friday the 13th.”

“One of the first questions that we asked ourselves was, ‘Who is the killer?’ ” said producer Brad Fuller**. In the original film, Mrs. Vorhees, mother of Jason Vorhees, was the one killing the teenaged camp counselors. In the sequels, it was her son Jason, who often wore a hockey mask.

Fuller continues: “At the end of the day, if you walk up to a kid on the street and ask him who the killer in ‘Friday the 13th” is, they would say Jason. I have a 15-year-old son, and his friends know the title and the series and would all respond the same way. Now, having said that, we felt it would be irresponsible to make the film without involving Pamela Voorhees to some degree, so she is certainly represented. It was very important for us to do. There are a lot of little nods and pieces that all go back to the original films, but that one is a major story component.”**

Hopefully old fans and new fans alike will be pleased with the end results.

All of these films open today. There certainly is a great variety here. I guess it depends on taste! Catch my review of “Confessions of a Shopaholic” in Nuvo this coming week, and online at! And feel free to tell me what you saw by leaving a comment on this blog.

Thanks for reading!

*From an interview with
**From an interview with Fangoria.

Yep, we have a blog…

Posted in Film in General on February 12, 2009 by C.F. Varnau

Hello everyone. This is Nick Varnau, Editor for “Hollywood Blockbusters,” a small online newsletter read nationwide. And now we have a blog, something many of you have been asking us to get for a while.

As our subscribers know, we’re not quite up-to-date on theatrical releases, however with this blog I intend to keep you updated with as much news on the film world as possible. And with a little bit of luck, we’ll be hearing from Shaun, too!

If you found this page and have not subscribed to “Hollywood Blockbusters,” you still can! Send an email to “,” and you’ll instantly be added to the list.

That’s all for now, I hope to see you all very soon!

-Nick Varnau
Editor, Hollywood Blockbusters