Condon reaches out to ‘Twilight’ nation

Posted by · 9:04 am · May 3rd, 2010

I didn’t expect back-to-back posts concerning Bill Condon today, but anyway, one of the more unexpected developments over the last few months was Condon signing on to direct “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” the final installment in the fan-heavy “Twilight” series. I thought it was totally left-field, given the direction his career has taken since […]

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2/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 11:08 am · February 5th, 2010

• Scott Bowles writes up the forthcoming Leo/Marty thriller “Shutter Island.” [USA Today] • Charting the piracy of this year’s Oscar nominees. [Waxy] • Pete Hammond gets James Cameron to puff his chest out on “Avatar”‘s box office potential, among other notes on the town. [Notes on a Season]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 movie-related moments of 2009

Posted by · 12:38 pm · December 29th, 2009

As the year (and decade) slowly winds down, I thought it would be a pretty good time to revive our long-slumbering Lists feature here at In Contention.  And what better way to do so and salute the year at hand than to lay out the most significant movie-related moments of 2009? The American Film Institute […]

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10/7 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:49 am · October 7th, 2009

• As “Up” gears up for release in the UK, it is revealed the film was inspired by British photographer Adrian Warren. [Daily Telegraph] • Tyler Perry gets personal regarding “Precious.” [TylerPerry.com] • Enter for a chance to win Max’s wolf costume from “Where the Wild Things Are.” [Warner Bros.]

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Hanks was AMPAS’s first choice for President, search is on for telecast talent

Posted by · 3:47 pm · August 22nd, 2009

I stumbled onto this item over at Deadline Hollywood Daily earlier this afternoon.  Apparently Tom Hanks, who was elected First Vice-President of the Academy earlier this week, was the group’s first choice for the top spot.  In fact, Tom Sherak, who was ultimately elected president, is the one who nominated Hanks in the first place. […]

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The Bagger’s take on Oscar’s shake-up

Posted by · 12:00 pm · June 29th, 2009

David Carr’s Media Equation column at The New York Times today is the most well-reasoned, knowledgeable take on the Academy’s recent Best Picture shake-up yet.  He covers some of the same points I brought up in my Off the Carpet column this morning, but thankfully, he offers something of a rebuttal to the Nikki Finkes […]

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How lies stay alive

Posted by · 1:15 pm · February 27th, 2009

It really pisses me off that the LA Times would allow Tom O’Neil to perpetuate falsehoods on his Gold Derby blog without any editorial oversight.  Tom, God love him, just can’t help himself sometimes.  He has to create a controversy where there isn’t one and this two-year-old idea that Eddie Murphy was “furious” over his […]

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To the Oscar grouches

Posted by · 10:05 am · February 27th, 2009

Alright, we already we handled the “Slumdog Millionaire” backlash and overall sense of hatred toward the film from movie-goers who simply couldn’t handle the boredom of an awards season that was written.  Today, it’s time to take the folks to task who couldn’t get to their computers quickly enough to bemoan the Academy’s presentation of […]

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Eddie Murphy + Richard Pryor = Oscar?

Posted by · 9:45 am · February 27th, 2009

UPDATE: Condon apparently has said he wants an August 2010 release for the film and Fox Searchlight has agreed to it.  See note below regarding Condon’s desire to stay away from anything resembling an Oscar season. EARLIER: I’ve known about Eddie Murphy being attached to Bill Condon’s Richard Pryor movie for weeks but, you know, […]

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Ratings were up!

Posted by · 9:32 am · February 23rd, 2009

From Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily: News reports this morning say the 81st Academy Awards broadcast delivered increased ratings in the 50 or so biggest U.S. markets, up about 6% over 2008 which registered the lowest ratings in the history of the telecast. New York delivered the largest rating Sunday (34.1/49 share), followed by Chicago (31.2/46) and Los […]

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A private function

Posted by · 9:08 am · February 23rd, 2009

When all is said and done, it wasn’t an awards season that deserved a fireworks finish, so perhaps last night’s muted, largely tasteful, faintly insular ceremony was an appropriate summation. It ran smoothly enough, with a handful of novel distractions and a uniformly generous, empathetic spirit running through the night’s speeches –- but I’d be […]

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POLL: What did you think of the Oscarcast?

Posted by · 7:41 am · February 23rd, 2009

Very easy thumbs up, thumbs down poll this week.  But please, keep your opinions of the winners out of it.  We’re interested in what you thought of the actual show.  Let Bill Condon and Larry Mark know what you thought in the sidebar poll.

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‘Slumdog’ takes 8 trophies as Oscar keeps it under 190 minutes

Posted by · 8:59 pm · February 22nd, 2009

In the final analysis, there isn’t much to say other than: What a captivating way to put a bow on the worst and, ultimately, most boring Oscar season of all time.  The 81st annual Academy Awards swiftly went down earlier this evening with few surprise winners and a classy new sheen.  It was captivating and, […]

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“It’s just us talking. It’s Oscar night.”

Posted by · 9:27 am · February 22nd, 2009

There’s always a healthy amount of irritation slung about during an Oscar season regarding the 6,000-strong body of men and women charged with choosing the year’s “best” in filmmaking accomplishment.  Some say the group is out of touch, others say voters aren’t educated enough in the arenas they choose to award.  For me, I’ve always […]

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Curiouser and curiouser

Posted by · 6:04 pm · February 19th, 2009

I have to say, it’s a stroke of luck that the most predictable Oscar race in some years at least happens to conicide with the most unpredictable Oscar ceremony. It’s as if Bill Condon and Laurence Mark knew that they had to pull out all the stops in reconfiguring the show to make up for […]

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If it ain’t broke…

Posted by · 1:39 pm · February 11th, 2009

A change is as good as a feast. I’m the last person to deny that. And for the most part, I’ve been down with the changes to this year’s Oscarcast promised by producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark. I’m on the record as saying I think Hugh Jackman is an inspired gamble as a choice […]

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Hugh Jackman finally talks his Oscar hosting gig

Posted by · 6:13 pm · February 10th, 2009

In the first interview I’ve come across where he talks at length about his upcoming Oscar emcee gig, Hugh Jackman talks to ABC’s OntheRedCarpet.com about memories watching Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal hosting the show, plans for a “twist” in the natural order of things and his overall philosophy on the job at hand.  It’s […]

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Wait…Queen Latifah to sing during ‘In Memoriam’ segment?

Posted by · 7:13 am · February 10th, 2009

This, I can’t go along with.  I’ve been one of the biggest supporters of whatever Bill Condon and Laurence Mark can cook up, but crooning during a segment like this?  And Queen Latifah of all people (who I love, mind you)?  I don’t like it.  Maybe it’ll work but I’m skeptical. From E!: I can […]

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