The docs you aren’t considering

Posted by · 7:56 pm · November 23rd, 2008

Whenever an awards shortlist is announced, people will inevitably spend as much time, if not more, pondering its omissions as they will its inclusions. And so it has been this week, in the wake of the Academy’s announcement of the 15 titles shortlisted for Best Feature Documentary. Some are curiously kvetching that Bill Maher’s sporadically […]

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10/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:10 am · October 29th, 2008

• Jeffrey Wells responds to yesterday’s “Frost/Nixon”/”Milk” double feature. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • David Poland gives high marks to the former… [The Hot Blog] • …well, and the latter as well. [The Hot Blog] • Mark Olsen previews the AFI Fest. [The Envelope] • Patrick Goldstein pokes and prods Bill Maher about a “Religulous” hater. [The […]

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LONDON: ‘Tony Manero,’ ‘The Other Man,’ ‘Awaydays,’ ‘Seamstresses’

Posted by · 5:39 pm · October 22nd, 2008

Before I continue my roundup of films from the last few days of the London Film Festival, I received an email asking why I haven’t mentioned such major festival titles as “Rachel Getting Married” and “Religulous.” There is little point in me reviewing titles that have already opened in the States (and which Kris has […]

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10/16 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:59 am · October 16th, 2008

• Patrick Kevin Day gets some choice words from costumer Jacqueline Durran about the shoot-from-the-hip nature of working with Mike Leigh. [Los Angeles Times] • Tim Burton is too busy to see “The Dark Knight.” [Hero Complex] • Josh Brolin was initially insulted at the offer to play George W. Bush. [USA Today] • Shock […]

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10/8 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:17 am · October 8th, 2008

• Tom O’Neil wonders if Bill Maher can cure his Emmy drought with an Oscar instead. [Gold Derby] • Patrick Goldstein calls ‘W.’ a “mess,” confirming my worst fears… [The Big Picture] • Erica Abeel corners Mike Leigh at the New York fest. [indieWIRE] • Bill Murray talks “City of Ember,” his divorce. [Associated Press] […]

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SHORT TAKE: “Religulous” (***)

Posted by · 10:17 am · October 3rd, 2008

I went into Bill Maher and Larry Charles’s “Religulous” expecting the usual close-minded schtick from Maher.  It seems the comedian is given to rational discourse on any topic except for religion where, indeed, it is the very notion of rationality that enjoys his full concentration.  He sticks his fingers in his ears and screams “La, […]

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10/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:02 am · October 2nd, 2008

• Jeffrey Wells reports that Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers” has been pushed to 2009. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Patrick Goldstein hypothesizes that the year-end Oscar glut is detrimental to quality films and, in a round about way, that studios should forgo the Oscar spending.  Gasp! [The Big Picture] • David Poland apparently missed the qualifier “largely” in […]

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9/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:40 am · September 30th, 2008

• Mark Olsen reports on the first U.S. screening of German foreign film Oscar entry “The Baader-Meinhof Complex.” [The Big Picture] • Jeffrey Wells passes along a note from an exhibitor acquaintance who thinks “Milk” is a home run, but “Frost/Nixon” is a bit stale. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Then he picks the five likely Best […]

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9/29 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:39 am · September 29th, 2008

• A happy ending of sorts for Matilda Rose in the wake of Heath Ledger’s death. [Agence France-Presse] • Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct “Thor.”  Weird, but badass. [Variety] • Tom O’Neil traces Paul Newman’s frustrating quest for Oscars. [Gold Derby] • James Rocchi talks to “Miracle at St. Anna” director Spike Lee. […]

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Andrew Sullivan takes Bill Maher to task on religion

Posted by · 11:45 am · September 20th, 2008

As much as I love and respect every perspective Bill Maher has on current events, I have been and remain skeptical that his upcoming film “Religulous” will represent any effort on his part to open up a bit from his skewed, incredibly insulting and borderline ignorant stance on the subject of faith and religion. As […]

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Tom-O chats up Larry Charles and “gangsta” Bill Maher

Posted by · 8:41 am · September 18th, 2008

It’s awesome to hear Maher talk about his infamous streak of Emmy losses here. It’s doubtful he’ll break the streak this year, but dammit, give this man the award. I’d say he’s probably deserved it year in and year out, with the exception of a few Jon Stewart victories:

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‘Che,’ ‘W.’ among films announced to play London fest

Posted by · 10:14 am · September 10th, 2008

Looking down the list of titles in the newly-revealed lineup for next month’s London Film Festival lineup, my initial reaction was one of mild disappointment. Plenty of exciting titles, for sure, but it doesn’t quite match last year’s feast that included everything from “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” to “The Assassination of Jesse James” […]

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9/9 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 6:13 am · September 9th, 2008

• Jeffrey Wells digs “Nothing But the Truth” (again), but wasn’t so much for the Toronto debut’s after party. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Lou Lumenick, meanwhile, calls the film “silly” and “an endless mopefest.” [Lumenick on Film] • Nancy Kriparos catches up with a few more flicks in Toronto, including the awards sneaker “Dean Spanley.” [Awards […]

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‘Religulous’: Variety is a believer

Posted by · 5:10 am · August 22nd, 2008

Concerns have been expressed on this site that Larry Charles’ and Bill Maher’s “Religulous” would emerge as an exercise in left-leaning smugness, taking potshots at easy, cherry-picked targets to equate faith with absurd naivete. Certainly, the jokey, swiftly-edited trailer didn’t do much to shift this feeling. But Variety’s review of the film paints a decidedly […]

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Ridiculous

Posted by · 8:07 am · July 15th, 2008

You know, I enjoy Bill Maher’s work very much. More often than not, despite adamant opinions, he has the ability to come down in an even-handed manner on more than a few issues, hot button and otherwise. But one thing that has always driven me mad has been his absolute ignorance and over-dependence on hyperbole […]

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New Toronto films announced

Posted by · 8:24 am · July 11th, 2008

The press office of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF for future purposes) announced some new titles for the line up at this year’s festival yesterday. Two Gala Presentation announcements include “The Secret Life of Bees” with Dakota Fanning, Paul Bettany, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, and “The Duchess” featuring Keira Knightley in the biographical […]

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Most anticipated of part two

Posted by · 10:06 am · July 6th, 2008

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, there are more than a few films floating to the top of my list of anticipations.  Here’s what I’d call the top 10: 1. “The Dark Knight” (hasn’t budged in six months) 2.“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” 3. “House of Lies” 4. “Quantum of Solace” […]

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