International Film Music Critics nominees

Posted by · 11:18 am · January 29th, 2010

This just arrived via press release.  Talk about your refreshingly diverse list of contenders. Predicting the Academy’s Best Original Score category can often be a bit of a chore.  There is no “guild” for the composers, after all, nothing to serve as a barometer.  For the longest time you could generally count on the group […]

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The home stretch

Posted by · 9:57 am · January 20th, 2010

Pete Hammond’s story concerning Academy members tapping out before listing a full slate of 10 nominees on their ballots is getting some traction today, but it’s hardly new news.  Many voters never even bothered to come up with five nominees, so the switch to 10 was always going to yield a number of incomplete ballots. […]

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Best in show: the year in superlatives

Posted by · 4:29 pm · December 18th, 2009

Wrapping up my perspective on the year today, a personal list of superlatives, Oscar categories and other silly nonsense. Swing back around on Monday for the ultimate wrap-up, my list of the best films of the decade. Best Picture “A Serious Man” (Focus Features) Best Director Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, “A Serious Man” Best Actor […]

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If I had a ballot

Posted by · 12:04 pm · December 16th, 2009

Every year I like to keep track of personal favorites throughout the Academy’s designated categories (plus one of my own addition, Best Ensemble). At the end of the year, my “if I had a ballot” post is the result. Of course, for the most part, I follow Academy designations here. If something is ruled ineligible, […]

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Quentin Tarantino names ‘Star Trek’ the year’s best

Posted by · 3:34 pm · December 14th, 2009

Of what he’s seen, that is. He hasn’t seen “Avatar,” “The Lovely Bones” or, um, “Invicitus” (his pronunciation). And his film is “out of it,” he says.  Not mentioning it.  Thanks for being stand-up like that, Quentin. Anyway, here’s the list: 1. “Star Trek” 2. “Drag Me to Hell” 3. “Funny People” 4. “Up in […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume II

Posted by · 4:58 pm · November 25th, 2009

Without any doubt, one of the most difficult Oscar categories to predict is Best Makeup. Like Best Visual Effects, the final three nominees are chosen from a previously announced shortlist of seven. Very frequently, films that would seem to be sure things fail to even make the bake-off. Even so, it is possible to gauge […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Makeup — Volume I

Posted by · 10:30 am · September 10th, 2009

“Make me look good.” While this might seem a vain phrase, in the context of a movie, makeup cannot only make an actor “look good” but it can capture the character and transform the performer, providing invaluable assistance in reaching the “truth” in the portrayal. The Academy Award for Best Makeup actually recognizes the individuals […]

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Twisted summer movie theories

Posted by · 10:11 am · June 12th, 2009

Alright, I had to let Hunter Stephenson’s rather suspect LGBT theory at /Film, vis a vis Kevin from Pixar’s “Up,” slide earlier in the week.  I’m not seeing it.  However, this Peter Sciretta item (which references an IMDb message board post) drawing parallels between Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” and eating disorders is a […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Dark clouds ‘Hangover’ Ferrell

Posted by · 11:57 am · June 7th, 2009

(6/8 UPDATE: Variety is reporting this morning that, in a rare occurrence, “The Hangover” topped “Up” once actual numbers rolled in.  “Final figures will show that ‘Hangover’ grossed $45 million from 3,269 runs,” Pamela McClintock writes. “‘Up’ should finish at $44.3 million to $44.4 million from 3,818 theaters.) “Up” has now joined “Paul Blart: Mall […]

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6/1 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:40 am · June 1st, 2009

• Did you miss Eminem’s close encounter with Sacha Baron Cohen’s bare ass?  Never fear. [The Guardian] • Pixar’s “Up” reminds of the lonely sport of cluster ballooning. [Los Angeles Times] • Was Universal going for scary or sexy with the “Drag Me to Hell” poster? [The Big Picture] • Eric Snider notes the failure […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Stocked ‘Up’

Posted by · 12:43 pm · May 31st, 2009

In the biggest non-shock of the year, Pixar has released a unanimously acclaimed new film and it has topped the box office. What is a little surprising is that “Up” managed to make $68.2 million despite a distinct lack of anthropomorphism. While Disney suits will have to continue to sweat over how they are going […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Closing Cannes and opening ‘Up’

Posted by · 2:36 am · May 30th, 2009

• The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up, with Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” taking the gold, and “Antichrist” nabbing honors too. (The Ecumenical Jury was less impressed.) • In the wake of the festival, we offered an updated survey of the Oscar landscape ahead. • With “Up” finally hitting our screens this week, we chatted […]

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5/28 Web Round-up

Posted by · 9:34 am · May 28th, 2009

• Kim Voynar goes deep on a male-dominated film world. [Movie City News] • Brooks Barnes on an anti-smoking Hollywood effort.  “Thank God we invented the…whatever device.” [The Carpetbagger] • Nine straight critical and financial successes.  How does Pixar do it? [CNN] • Gina McIntyre talks to horror helmer Sam Raimi. [Los Angeles Times] • […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Drag Me to Hell” (***)

Posted by · 9:56 am · May 27th, 2009

It only occurred to me this week that I have yet to write about Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell,” which I saw weeks ago and never got around to reviewing in a timely fashion.  I’ve had the artwork for whatever piece I was to conjur sitting here on my desktop, waiting for me to, […]

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5/25 Web Round-up

Posted by · 9:07 am · May 26th, 2009

• Tom O’Neil chats up the actors of Broadways’ “God of Carnage.” [Gold Derby] • Noah Forrest gets wrapped up in the excitement of seeing “Drag Me to Hell” with an audience (a week or so after decrying the public movie-going experience). [Movie City News] • Indie filmmaker and noted script doctor John Sayles is […]

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5/25 Web Round-up (MEMORIAL DAY EDITION)

Posted by · 10:45 am · May 25th, 2009

• Tom O’Neil asks the question of the week: Will Cannes winners repeat at the Oscars? [Gold Derby] • On the attraction to Amelia Earhart, featured in two films this year. [Los Angeles Times] • Charles McGrath talks to director Sam Raim, whose “Drag Me to Hell” is more fun than it has any right […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Terminator’ frustration

Posted by · 5:09 pm · May 24th, 2009

Hollywood tried something it rarely does this Memorial Day weekend: it opened two huge sequels at the same time. The last time anything remotely similar happened was the same holiday weekend in 2005 with “The Longest Yard” and “Madagascar.” They were really just fighting for second place, though, as the second weekend of “Star Wars: […]

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Not feeling it

Posted by · 3:41 pm · March 30th, 2009

My consistent disinterest in anything Sam Raimi has ever touched aside (“Spider-Man 2” and maybe “For Love of the Game” excepted), why do I hate every inch of this “Drag Me To Hell” trailer?  Is it the choice to force Allison Lohman into the role of a leading lady I can buy (which I can’t)?  […]

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