The top 10 shots of 2009: part two

Posted by · 12:46 pm · February 17th, 2010

In case you missed the first part of our look at the best shots of 2009, go ahead and catch up here.  Before getting into the top five, however, I’d like to spotlight a few examples that almost made the cut but just missed. First and foremost, “Inglourious Basterds” is obviously a favorite around these […]

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My dream ballot: part one

Posted by · 7:32 pm · January 31st, 2010

As I did last year, I’m preparing for Tuesday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations by running through my own favorites in each category — following on from the ideal ballots posted by Kris and Chad in the past few weeks. “Preparing” isn’t quite the word: it implies a link between the processes of predicting and […]

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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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Things of beauty: Guy’s best of 2009

Posted by · 6:01 am · December 23rd, 2009

The year of the woman. The year of animation. The year of science-fiction. Depending on who you read (and believe), the final year of the decade has been an awful lot of things. If you’re with Kris, it’s also the best cinematic year of the last ten. If you’re with an awful lot of others, […]

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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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Going out with a bang: the best films of 2009

Posted by · 12:35 pm · December 14th, 2009

I’ve often been asked throughout the latter part of 2009 why I should have the gall to consider it the best year of film product in a decade. It’s such a subjective circumstance that, of course, the only answer is, “I liked a lot of movies.” That’s not enough for most. Hard and fast evidence […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Slight ‘Christmas’

Posted by · 10:30 am · November 8th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. The first weekend in November is considered the official kick-off of the Holiday season at the box office and so it’s appropriate that Robert Zemeckis’s yuletide digital experiment, “A Christmas Carol,” is the film leading the way. The film grossed $31 million for the weekend to […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: That was it?

Posted by · 1:27 pm · November 1st, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars Michael Jackson’s concert footage was finally released upon the public amid a whirlwind of hype that caused many, including myself, to get a little carried away. The documentary grossed $21.3 million from the three-day weekend, second only to “Fahrenheit 9/11” for docs, and $32.5 million since […]

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10/27 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:40 am · October 27th, 2009

• Patrick Goldstein thinks tapping Ricky Gervais as emcee suddenly classes up the Golden Globes. [The Big Picture] • In case you’ve missed it, a thorough and, I’d say, fair profile of James Cameron in 11,000 words. [New Yorker] • Mel Gibson admits the subject of his Oscar-winning biopic “Braveheart” was a “monster.” [The Times]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Jigsaw scared off by ‘Paranormal Activity’

Posted by · 12:03 pm · October 25th, 2009

Four weeks after opening on 12 screens with only midnight shows, “Paranormal Activity” has topped the box office and made mincemeat out of the “Saw” series. Paramount’s no-budget thriller earned $22 million this weekend on 1,945 screens and saw its total stretch past $60 million. This type of ascent to the summit hasn’t been seen […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Wild Things,’ you make everything…groovy

Posted by · 1:59 pm · October 18th, 2009

Well, it was maybe the most anticipated PG-rated film amongst the young adult set since “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and “Where the Wild Things Are” landed with a bang this weekend. The Spike Jonze adaptation grossed $32.5 million to top the box office and justify all the bickering and problems during production […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Foxes, festivals and foreign contenders

Posted by · 7:54 pm · October 16th, 2009

• The 53rd annual London Film Festival kicked off with Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — we reviewed it here. • Speaking of festivals, the AFI Fest unveiled its own complete lineup, with “Fox” and “A Single Man” as its bookends. • This week’s edition of The Long Shot considered the extensive possibilities for black, […]

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10/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 9:44 am · October 16th, 2009

• Nathaniel Rogers weighs in on Christopher Plummer’s upcoming whirlwind campaigns. [The Film Experience] • John Hiscock sits down with 2009’s “it” girl, Carey Mulligan. [Daily Telegraph] • Enter a contest to design the actual one-sheet for Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist.” [CHUD]

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10/13 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 10:13 am · October 13th, 2009

• Could Jarvis Cocker step into the original song race with “Fantastic Mr. Fox AKA Petey’s Song” from Wes Anderson’s latest? [The Guardian] • Scott Feinberg talks to “A Single Man” star Julianne Moore. [And the Winner Is…] • What are the real lessons of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.” [Beyond the Multiplex]

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10/12 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:38 am · October 12th, 2009

• Gregory Ellwood mulls over the pros and cons of this year’s Best Actor hopefuls. [Awards Campaign] • Andrew O’Hehir on the British indie film explosion. [Beyond the Multiplex] • A.J. Schnack does a nice job of wrangling up info on the shortlisted short docs. [All These Wonderful Things]

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SUNDAY CENTS: Phenom ‘Activity’

Posted by · 5:46 pm · October 11th, 2009

The number one movie at the box office this weekend was Universal’s “Couples Retreat” with $35.3 million. That’s the ninth-biggest October debut in history and the biggest total ever tallied on this particular weekend of the year, but it’s not the biggest success story of the weekend. Not by a mile. No other films were […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Education’ lands, animation expands

Posted by · 2:09 am · October 10th, 2009

• After a quiet week for awards news, this week’s Off the Carpet column contemplated the depth of the Best Actress race. • A topic that Kris and Anne also debated in this week’s episode of Oscar Talk. • Speaking of Best Actress, “An Education,” with its nomination-bound performance by Carey Mulligan, finally hit theaters […]

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SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Zombie’ lands at the top

Posted by · 12:46 pm · October 4th, 2009

Fox may not be able to get teens excited about horror comedy but Sony sure can as “Zombieland” debuted with an impressive $25 million and the number one spot.The studio  makes a killing off these types of relatively low budget genre titles (“Obsessed”, “Lakeview Terrace”) and you have to hand it to the marketing department […]

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