3/5 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:38 am · March 5th, 2010

• Patrick Goldstein defends his paper’s perceived hit campaign against “The Hurt Locker,” calls quoted second-hand information that wasn’t properly vetted “the most in-depth piece written about the film’s complex mixture of questionable dramatic license and vivid authenticity.”  Ahem, indeed. [The Big Picture] • Cathy Yan on Scott Cooper, Neill Blomkamp, Cary Fukunaga, etc. — the Oscar […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OSCAR GUIDE: Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Posted by · 11:17 am · March 1st, 2010

In most cases, the adapted screenplay category of a given Oscar race is packed with Best Picture nominees or contenders. This year, however, there was a nice balance of adapted and original screenplays in the Best Picture category, and in fact, of the “top five” films that trickled down throughout the season, three were original […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The nominees react

Posted by · 8:08 am · February 2nd, 2010

Throughout the morning and early afternoon we took statements from or hopped on the phone with 44 of today’s Oscar nominees.  Their reactions… Maggie Gyllenhaal, supporting actress, “Crazy Heart”: The thing is, you know, I’m so proud of the movie and I always have been, more proud of it than any of the work I’ve […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: The time is nigh

Posted by · 3:44 pm · February 1st, 2010

In so many words, this is it.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils it’s slate of nominees bright and early tomorrow morning, and this being the first year with a 10-film Best Picture field, all eyes will be on the top category to gauge which way the wind blew on this AMPAS […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

‘Education,’ ‘Basterds’ lead BAFTA longlists

Posted by · 5:22 am · January 7th, 2010

Two weeks before revealing its nominations, BAFTA reveals longlists of 15 contenders in each category from which the eventual five nominees will be chosen. (Switch those numbers to five and three in the Animated Feature race.) Vague as the lists are, a couple of telling trends stand out. It’s been clear for some time that […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Speaking of Blomkamp…

Posted by · 9:59 am · January 6th, 2010

…who just popped up in my DGA predictions, in case you’ve missed it, do yourself a favor and give Geoff Boucher’s three-part interview with the “District 9” director a look.  Boucher did a similarly all-encompassing series with Christopher Nolan last year, and this one is every bit as insightful. What we get is a profile […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

DGA on the way

Posted by · 8:51 am · January 6th, 2010

Tomorrow the Directors Guild of America will chime in with its list of nominees for the 2009-2010 film awards season.  Long considered to be the best “predictor” of the Oscar game (as in, the DGA winner typically wins the Oscar for Best Director, and Best Director often matches up with Best Picture), this guild’s shenanigans […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

12/31 Oscarweb Round-up (NEW YEAR’S EVE EDITION)

Posted by · 8:02 am · December 31st, 2009

• Tom O’Neil serves some crow up to a few colleagues while failing to understand that his prize pony needed a few films to underwhelm in order to be in the position it’s in. [Gold Derby] • David Poland crunches the “Avatar” numbers yet again.  The film is still…almost…breaking records. [The Hot Blog] • Neill […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Hollywood, Johannesburg

Posted by · 12:36 pm · November 9th, 2009

In January 2005, exactly one week after I left my birth town of Johannesburg to study film in the brighter lights of London, Darrell James Roodt’s earnest AIDS drama “Yesterday” became South Africa’s first Oscar nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Only a month later, the rather better “uCarmen eKhayelitsha” took the Golden […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘District 9’ to Six

Posted by · 3:44 pm · August 19th, 2009

As “District 9” remains the number-one topic of conversation among American moviegoers, not least for its invocation of the apartheid era, I’m surprised to see a number of prominent critics have either missed or ignored the most obvious of its symbolic historical references: the tragedy of District Six. A vibrant, multi-racial residential pocket of Cape […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

The collected shorts of Neill Blomkamp

Posted by · 5:04 pm · August 13th, 2009

“District 9” opens tomorrow. We’ve done our part to get the word out around these parts, and even spotlighted the film’s talented young star. But in due time, you’ll all make your mind up as to whether it’s a new staple of the science-fiction genre or a victim of its own hype. In the meantime, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

INTERVIEW: ‘District 9’ star Sharlto Copley

Posted by · 12:01 pm · August 13th, 2009

When actor Sharlto Copley first pops up on screen in Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9,” it isn’t a grand movie moment in the style of John Wayne’s arrival (albeit out of focus) in John Ford’s “Stagecoach” by any means.  In fact, viewers might instinctively expect Copley’s character, Wikus Van De Merwe, to be a supporting player, […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Interviews

Neill Blomkamp on the necessity of setting ‘District 9’ in Joburg

Posted by · 11:34 am · August 12th, 2009

I’ll be posting my interview with “District 9” star Sharlto Copley later today or tomorrow, but in the meantime, I thought I’d pass along this Andrew O’Hehir interview with the film’s newbie director, Neill Blomkamp, over at Salon. The piece is wide-ranging, moving from Blomkamp’s background in digital effects and advertising to Copely’s performance to […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘District 9’ on the way

Posted by · 10:04 am · August 6th, 2009

Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9” is primed to explode on the cinema landscape next week.  At least I hope it is.  I’m never good at reading the populist pulse, especially as it pertains to predicting box office and things like that, but on a $30 million budget, and being an exceptional piece of work that should […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

COMIC-CON: Peter Jackson receives standing ovation at first ever Con appearance

Posted by · 11:31 am · July 25th, 2009

Peter Jackson made his long-awaited first trip to Comic-Con yesterday in support of Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9,” which screened to a select audience Thursday. He received the expected standing ovation by the many Ringers and Bad-Tasters in attendance. “This is a moment to remember for the rest of my life,” he said after snapping a […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

COMIC-CON: Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp unveil ‘District 9’ to eager first audience

Posted by · 9:22 am · July 24th, 2009

Last night Peter Jackson showed up at the Horton Plaza United Artists theater a few blocks north of the convention center with protege Neill Blomkamp and actor Sharlto Copley in tow.  The occasion: the first ever screening of Blomkamp’s “District 9,” a sci-fi installment that finds itself in the midst of a heavy “what the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

New ‘District 9’ trailer and poster

Posted by · 5:43 pm · July 8th, 2009

Expanding on the teaser that generated much excitement among genre aficionados a few months back, comes this more revealing trailer for South African Neill Blomkamp’s freshman feature “District 9,” produced in association with Peter Jackson. Can’t say I’m as sold on the venture as others are — and the new trailer makes it look rather […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Peter Jackson presents ‘District 9’

Posted by · 12:50 am · May 1st, 2009

I haven’t kept up with Neill Blomkamp’s “District 9,” a Peter Jackson production that has the geek world chomping at the bit.  But the recently released trailer has certainly sparked my interest.  A plot synopsis from the film’s IMDb page: “An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly find a kindred […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily