Pixar animators = Renaissance masters?

Posted by · 2:55 am · June 24th, 2010

I’m not saying it — Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones is. In a brief but gutsy blog post, Jones adds an alternative (but still admiring) view to the past week’s pile of love letters to “Toy Story 3,” focusing less on their storytelling and more on their value as fine art pieces. In so doing, […]

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‘Up’ triumphs at Annie Awards

Posted by · 5:42 am · February 7th, 2010

Last year, the industry-voted Annie Awards appeared to have entered a peculiar grudge match with Pixar Studios, as eventual Oscar-winner “WALL-E” came away empty-handed, while “Kung Fu Panda” swept the board. Whether that curious outcome was the result of peer envy or professional preference, the Annies appear to be back on board with Pixar, as […]

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Andrea Bocelli, Paul McCartney join the race for Best Original Song

Posted by · 8:19 am · November 5th, 2009

Catching up with Robert Zemeckis’s “A Christmas Carol” last night (which I absolutely adored), I noticed the film featured a tune called “God Bless Us Everyone” by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.  Might we have a new contender for Best Original Song? Each of Zemeckis’s prior performance-capture efforts included original songs — Josh Groban’s “Believe” from […]

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Searching for Oscar meaning in IMDb’s top 15 of the millennium

Posted by · 8:02 am · August 19th, 2009

Over at IMDb there is a new feature called “The Power of Film” (lofty title, that), which has listed out the top 15 films of the millennium as voted on by IMDB users, i.e., fans, the public, regular folks. The IMDb top 250 is an ever-changing mish-mash of high-,middle- and low-brow entertainment that always makes […]

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One more award for ‘WALL-E’

Posted by · 8:31 am · August 14th, 2009

Fans of Pixar’s multi-lauded 2008 film “WALL-E” can keep the partying going a little longer.  The film just beat out four easy targets at the Hugo Awards to claim yet another trophy, this one for Best Science-Fiction Film of 2008.  Thought I’d pass it along.

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Hollywood focused on the end of the world as we know it

Posted by · 12:10 pm · August 10th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for a while now, but I never got around to it.  Paul Harris at The Guardian beat me to the punch, so I’ll run his thoughts instead. The recent wave of post-apocalyptic films flooding and being prepared for the marketplace is intriguing indeed.  Fads always pop up in […]

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Counting to ten

Posted by · 9:17 am · July 2nd, 2009

Since the Academy announced the new ten-lane track for the Best Picture race, any number of bloggers have projected which extra films might have made the cut under this format in the last few years, a process that, for many, retrospectively hands hypothetical nods to everything from “Doubt” to “Memoirs of a Geisha” to “My […]

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WALL2-D2 and EVE-3PO

Posted by · 4:08 pm · June 6th, 2009

(Courtesy: Worth 100, via /Film)

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John Ratzenberger: Pixar’s “good-luck charm”

Posted by · 10:23 am · June 2nd, 2009

I’m glad someone finally got around to doing this story.  In the pages of USA Today this week, Susan Wloszczyna has written up a nice little feature on actor John Ratzenberger, who has provided voice talent to every Pixar film since the studio’s first ground-breaking effort “Toy Story” back in 1995.  Here’s a taste: The […]

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THE LISTS: Ranking 14 years of Pixar

Posted by · 12:34 pm · May 26th, 2009

This weekend, Pixar Animation Studios will be releasing its 10th feature film, “Up.”  For many, with the film having successfully opened this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, the occasion has marked another milestone in the studio’s continued maturation. In my recent review of the film, I wrote, “Watching Pixar Animation grow and develop as a […]

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Trades head over heels for ‘Up’

Posted by · 2:09 am · May 13th, 2009

With all the positive word that’s been trickling out this past week, it’s no surprise to hear that “Up” has scored universally breathless raves from the trade papers. Actually, it’s no surprise under any circumstances — with the sole exception of “Cars,” it’s one of the safest bets in the in the industry that every […]

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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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Two more industry awards: MPSE and VES

Posted by · 9:17 am · February 22nd, 2009

We should link to these for closure, so “The Dark Knight,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “WALL-E” won big at the Motion Picture Sound Editors awards, while “Button” took four trophies from the Visual Effects Society.  “The Dark Knight” and “WALL-E” also won a few each.  Thanks to Awards Daily on […]

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You were right, I was wrong: Guy’s final predictions

Posted by · 1:24 pm · February 21st, 2009

(Expanded thoughts and reasonings on yesterday’s list of predictions.) It’s years like 2008 when I throw my hands up and admit (albeit with great reluctance) that my family and friends have been right for the last two decades. Carla, Tom, Kim, Auntie Mavis: I give up. I am insane to care as much as I […]

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Contributors’ picks

Posted by · 1:32 pm · February 20th, 2009

Well, this is it.  The big show is Sunday night and we’re pretty much out of things to discuss at this stage, no?  But I’ve gone ahead and wrangled up all of our contributors’ predictions in each category.  Trust who you must, but really, pray for a surprise.  Right? In the realm of “ballsy” calls, […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Taking a final stab

Posted by · 11:05 am · February 20th, 2009

Well, this is what it all boils down to.  I almost DON’T want to go on the record, but I kind of have to, right? Anyway, this is the first year I’ve actually seen every single nominated frame of film before the big night so these will either be the most educated guesses I’ve ever […]

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Who deserves it? Poll results!

Posted by · 7:09 am · February 20th, 2009

The readership of In Contention has spoken.  Here’s who you all think deserves to win across the 24 Oscar categories we polled you on.  A couple of these races were very close but we didn’t have time to revisit the couple of categories that were decided by less than 10 votes.  Anyway, it’ll be interesting […]

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Last minute jitters

Posted by · 10:16 am · February 19th, 2009

I’ll have a post up later today running a comb through my final predictions.  Tomorrow we’ll showcase all contributor picks (as well as the “Who deserves it?” poll results), but for now, I thought I’d share my pain with the readership. By pain, I mean last minute jitters, those creepy, crawling, gut-twisting thoughts that leave […]

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