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3 items from 2014

Ofcs names The Godfather the best Oscar Best Picture ever

7 March 2014 5:22 AM, PST | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

The members of the Online Film Critics Society — of which I am one — have jointly ranked the 86 movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is our top 10:

1. The Godfather (1972)

2. Casablanca (1943)

3. The Godfather Part II (1974)

4. Sunrise (1927/28)

5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

6. It Happened One Night (1934)

7. All About Eve (1950)

8. Annie Hall (1977)

9. On the Waterfront (1954)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929/30)

Links go to my reviews. The rest of the Ofcs list is at Online Film Critics Society. (You’ll see how current we can be: newly minted Best Pic 12 Years a Slave is on the list, at No. 23.)

Read more about the Oscar Best Pictures, including fascinating trivia nuggets for each Best Picture and the other nominees each were up against, in these Ofcs posts:

• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 1” (counting down from 86 to 66)

• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 2” (65 through 51)

• “The »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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“American Idol” Recap: Girls! Girls! Guhh!

19 February 2014 7:06 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

If you’ve paid attention to my urgent, poetic recaps of American Idol, you know we’ve arrived at my favorite time of year: the live(-ish) semifinal where a couple dozen singers with edgy haircuts and/or edgy midriff-baring tops (or both, if you’re edgy-edgy Marrialle Sellars) beg you to dial things on their behalf. It’s the esteemed Top 30 round — or as I’ve long called it, The “How Can This Be The Best Of The Best When Everybody Was Forgettable, Nervous, and Named Something Stupid?” Round. My favorite.

But I didn’t count such a stupid gimmick creeping its way into the festivities. Though 15 women qualified to perform on Tuesday’s show, only 10 would be allowed on air thanks to a mysterious prescreening round where Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez, and Paul McCartney Disguised As Sheryl Crow In The “Soak Up the Sun” Video (a.k. »

- Louis Virtel

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I, Frankenstein - Ron Balicki and Diana Lee Inosanto Talk Bringing Martial Arts to Movies

28 January 2014 9:44 AM, PST | | See recent Dread Central news »

Ka-li (noun): 1) One of the manifestations and cult titles of the wife of Shiva and mother goddess Devi, especially in her malevolent role as a goddess of death and destruction, depicted as black, red-eyed, blood-stained, and wearing a necklace of skulls...

2) Eskrima, Arnis and Kali are umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines ("Filipino Martial Arts," or Fma) that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons.

It also includes hand-to-hand combat, joint locks, grappling and weapon disarming techniques.

More and more, martial arts action sequences are becoming integral to genre filmmaking. From the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series (1997) and Blade (1998) to The Hulk (2003) and Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), we’re seeing more and more cinematic heroes who are kickin’ ass. One commonality in all of the aforementioned films are the action choreographers/stunt people: Ron Balicki and Diana Lee Inosanto. »

- Carnell

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