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2014 | 2008

3 items from 2008


'WALL-E' bow kicks off Oscar season

25 June 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

With Pixar's newest blue-chip animated movie "WALL-E" hitting theaters Friday, the 2008 Oscar race is finally off and running.

It's an unofficial starting gun, of course. Technically, any movie that's had a commercial release of at least a week in Los Angeles County since the start of the year is eligible to compete. But the first half of the year rarely yields much in the way of Oscar fodder, and this year has been no exception.

May's Festival de Cannes didn't do much to clarify the situation, either: Several promising foreign films aside, only Clint Eastwood's "Changeling", starring Angelina Jolie, emerged as a mainstream contender.

Most of the remaining summer popcorn fare isn't generally regarded as Oscar worthy, though if critics and fans applaud Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker in "The Dark Knight" when it is released July 18, Warner Bros. is ready to support a campaign on his behalf. Only one acting Oscar has been bestowed posthumously -- to Peter Finch for 1976's "Network" -- but five others have been nominated in the wake of their deaths, including James Dean, who earned noms for "East of Eden" and "Giant".

But while Oscar strategists are marking time, waiting for the fall festival circuit to launch a wave of hopefuls, the animation race has begun to take shape.

The critics are just beginning to weigh in on "WALL-E" -- the Village Voice's Robert Wilonsky has already called it "both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate" -- but the buzz surrounding the film about a lovelorn robot already is so heady, there's no doubt it will be the movie to beat for best animated film. The bigger question is whether it might become a candidate for a best picture slot.

At one point last year, director Brad Bird wanted to position his "Ratatouille" in the best picture heat, but he was convinced to focus on the best animated film category, which it handily won while also picking up noms in four other categories. »

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'Wall-E' bow kicks off Oscar season

25 June 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

With Pixar's newest blue-chip animated movie Wall-E hitting theaters Friday, the 2008 Oscar race is finally off and running.

It's an unofficial starting gun, of course. Technically, any movie that's had a commercial release of at least a week in Los Angeles County since the start of the year is eligible to compete. But the first half of the year rarely yields much in the way of Oscar fodder, and this year has been no exception.

May's Festival de Cannes didn't do much to clarify the situation, either: Several promising foreign films aside, only Clint Eastwood's Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, emerged as a mainstream contender.

Most of the remaining summer popcorn fare isn't generally regarded as Oscar worthy, though if critics and fans applaud Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight when it is released July 18, Warner Bros. is ready to support a campaign on his behalf. Only one acting Oscar has been bestowed posthumously -- to Peter Finch for 1976's Network -- but five others have been nominated in the wake of their deaths, including James Dean, who earned noms for East of Eden and Giant.

But while Oscar strategists are marking time, waiting for the fall festival circuit to launch a wave of hopefuls, the animation race has begun to take shape.

The critics are just beginning to weigh in on Wall-E -- the Village Voice's Robert Wilonsky has already called it "both breathtakingly majestic and heartbreakingly intimate" -- but the buzz surrounding the film about a lovelorn robot already is so heady, there's no doubt it will be the movie to beat for best animated film. The bigger question is whether it might become a candidate for a best picture slot.

At one point last year, director Brad Bird wanted to position his Ratatouille in the best picture heat, but he was convinced to focus on the best animated film category, which it handily won while also picking up noms in four other categories. »

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Sxsw 2008: Going Cuckoo for Cannabis

9 March 2008 5:54 AM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Stephen Saito

With 4/20 only a little more than a month away, Sxsw kicked off an all-encompassing celebration of marijuana on Friday with the regional premiere of the Doug Benson doc "Super High Me" at the Paramount Theatre, shortly before other comedies about the herb made their premieres (officially: "Humboldt County"; unofficially: Jonathan Levine's Sundance hit "The Wackness," which played Saturday night as a secret screening). Part concert film culled from "Best Week Ever" regular Benson's stand-up act and part social documentary about the ongoing battle in California between the feds and the newly created legalized "dispensaries," which have been empowered by state law to sell medical marijuana, "Super High Me" sets its sights on being entertaining and informative and manages to do a little of both.

As Benson proves, it's not difficult to procure a doctor's note, and the film follows him as he detoxifies for 30 days from »

- Stephen Saito

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2014 | 2008

3 items from 2008


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