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By Joey Magidson
As an Oscar prognosticator, I look to try and find any advantageous information or tools that I can muster. When one is in the business of making professional educated guesses, that’s kind of a no-brainer, but with Oscar predictions it’s even more important to use any and all sources at your disposal.
Two such resources are the websites CinemaScore and Rotten Tomatoes. The former is a service that measures the appeal of a movie among paying audiences. The site claims to have been polling moviegoers at major new releases on opening night to gather demographic information and calculate a CinemaScore grade (A+ all the way to F) for over 34 years.
The latter is the more well known site and functions as many things but mainly as a film review aggregator. All films are labeled either “Fresh” or “Rotten” depending on how major critics scored the movies. »
- Joey Magidson
Robert Zemeckis has dropped his planned remake of the Beatles' film Yellow Submarine. "That would have been a great one, to bring the Beatles back to life," the Back to the Future and Forrest Gump director told Total Film in an interview (viewable only with purchase). "But it's probably better not to be remade — you're always behind the eight-ball when you do a remake."
Zemeckis and Disney had been planning the remake of the Beatles' 1968 film since 2009 and even found a cast of »
Like a lot of late (oft-fetish) objects of cinephilia (cf. Django Unchained, Holy Motors, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, the films of Gabriel Abrantes, even, or perhaps most of all, This Is Not a Film), Miguel Gomes' Tabu is a sutured fantasy, that is, with the seams showing: all calculating formal frameworks for cute fantasy only end up referring back to their production history (as documentary), as well as the same national history the self-contained storyline was supposed to shield against. Of course the point is simple: stories are cultural products, and as in the African documentaries of Salzar's chief propagandist, António Lopes Ribeiro, Gomes' stories end up revealing everything they're designed to evade. Until its late swerve into unremitting pastiche, the point when cultural history collapses into a Forrest Gump crime scene, Tabu, like so many Portuguese films with their cheap resources and love letter narrators, straddles the »
- David Phelps
Being reunited with director Robert Zemeckis on "Flight" was just like old times for cinematographer Don Burgess. The last time they worked together was on "The Polar Express" in 2004, Bob Z's first foray into performance capture. But in terms of live action, you have to go back to "Cast Away" in 2000. So a lot has changed in the "digital stew," as Zemeckis likes to refer to virtual production. Still, after lensing all of his live action movies since "Forrest Gump," the two have established a visual rapport built around the old Truffaut maxim about movies being part truth and part spectacle. "The starting point is that it's a movie about truth and honesty," Burgess confirms. And so that's the driving force behind the lighting and the clarity of the lenses. I didn't want any of the lighting to feel too theatrical. I wanted it to be as real as possible »
- Bill Desowitz
"It won’t be green and yellow. It will be a different colour" he said during an interview with Blackfilm. "[The producers] want something for the future. They want to have it more grounded and not as comic bookie, so it won’t be green and yellow. They want to try new things, like liquid rubber and things like that, and there are all these bolts and stuff in my arms when they are hanging me upside down and trying to figure out what happen. How did he become this way? So, it will be some new stuff." He also added in an interview with MTV that "Marc Webb and all those guys who are doing it are smart... they know that »
For over 20 years now The Library of Congress has chosen a select group of films to be preserved in the National Film Registry, and this year's titles have just been revealed. Last year, films included Forrest Gump, Silence of the Lambs, Bambi and A Computer Animated Hand, the first footage of computer animation ever. Now 25 more films will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act as they have been deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant to the history of cinema or because of their enduring significance to American culture. So find out what films join the registry below! A Christmas Story made the cut this year, and that seems only appropriate around the holidays as it has become a classic depicting Midwest family and the common trials and tribulations of child and parent life in the middle class. In addition, the innovative and influential film »
- Ethan Anderton
1.) Angelina Jolie is in negotiations to direct Unbroken, the story of Olympian-turned-wwii Pow Louis Zamperini, for Universal Pictures. Jolie made her directorial debut with 2011's largely unseen Bosnian war romance In the Land of Blood and Honey. Universal has been developing a film on Zamperini's life for nearly 55 years, with William Nicholson (Gladiator, Les Miserables) delivering the latest draft of the script based on Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 book. Zamperini was a track prodigy who ran in the 1936 Olympics, but missed his big chance at glory when the 1940 Olympics were cancelled because of WWII. He then joined the U.S. Air Force, and he and two other crew mates survived on a raft in the hot sun for 47 days after his aircraft went down in the Pacific during a rescue mission. Things only got worse when they were captured by the Japanese Navy. "I read Laura Hillenbrand's brilliant book, »
- Kevin Blumeyer
Life of Pi, 2012.
Directed by Ang Lee.
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey as he spends 227 days adrift in the Pacific with only a fearsome Bengal tiger for company.
Published in 2001, Yann Martel's Life of Pi managed to grab the attention of the world. A personal story about an Indian boy stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger was hardly the story to win the world over. But it did, truly a book that fascinates you from the beginning. From the perspective of Piscine - aka Pi - he explains why zoos can be stunning, beautiful places for animals. We are convinced of his multiple faiths - as Pi is a Hindu, Christian and Muslim and, soon enough, we are stranded on the boat with a Tiger, »
The Unpopular Opinion is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer Hated, but that the majority of film fans Loved, or that the writer Loved, but that most others Loathed. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy! **** Some Spoilers Ensue**** I will admit that when Forrest Gump first hit theaters in 1994, I liked it. In fact, I remember when it hit video, I had pre-ordered a VHS copy. »
- Alex Maidy
By Joey Magidson
Sometimes, when watching a movie or a television program, you stumble upon an actor or an actress whom you just feel is going places. Maybe they’re new on the scene or a veteran who’s never really been given a chance, but you get the sense that big things are ahead for them. You can almost envision them at the Oscar ceremony, smiling and waiting to hear if their names are called.
Just as often, though, you see people who don’t impress you one bit or happen to be involved in projects that don’t point to an especially bright future. It may not be their fault due to the material, or they may not have come into their own yet, but nothing at that point suggests an Oscar nominee in the making.
Each year, there are numerous potential nominees who have come from rather humble beginnings, »
- Joey Magidson
The 90s were a very different time for film making. The biggest blockbusters of the time lived in the realms of the dramatic (Forrest Gump, Titanic), science-fiction (Jurassic Park, Terminator 2), action (Air Force One, Speed), or in some cases all three (The Matrix). It was a fantastic decade for movies, no doubt. 1999 in particular has been heralded as the year that changed the art form. Yet, at the dawn of the new millennium, one of the most innovative and noteworthy trilogies came out that shifted the tone of movie culture over the next eleven years: Lord of the Rings.
The project was nothing short of ambitious right from the start. The source material was dense, the visuals required had never been done before, and perhaps the most problematic of all, Peter Jackson was asking studios to commit to two films (later three…funny how that keeps happening with this man »
- Eric Ravenscraft
Tom Hanks has a problem with his dressing room.
The two-time Oscar winner and generally agreed-upon national treasure has just arrived backstage at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, dragging a duffel bag in each hand with his wife, Rita Wilson, trailing behind. (Wilson's wearing a neck brace, for some reason.) It's been 35 years since Hanks made a living in a place like the Freud – a 567-seat theater whose last big show was a student production of A Chorus Line – and though he has a reputation as a down-to-earth, easygoing guy, he's also, »
In the box-office lull before the arrival The Hobbit next weekend, Skyfall returned to the number-one spot at the box office, becoming the first film since Avatar to lead the chart in its fifth week. It also became the highest grossing Sony release of all time. Not too shabby, Mr. Bond.
Skyfall topped the domestic rankings with an estimated $11.0 million (down a slim 34 percent from last weekend), which brings its North American total to a stunning $261.1 million. It’s difficult to adequately express how incredible — and somewhat inexplicable — Skyfall’s run has been. The former franchise high-point for the Bond series was Quantum of Solace, »
- Grady Smith
The Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced that Sally Field will receive the Career Achievement Award on January 5 during the awards gala. Field will join previously announced honorees -- the ensemble cast of Ben Affleck's "Argo," Helen Hunt ("The Sessions"), Naomi Watts ("The Impossible"), and Robert Zemeckis ("Flight").
Field, currently starring in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," also won the New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress award for the role.
Here's more on Field's career highlights:
Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award winner for her performances in Places in the Heart, for which she also received a Golden Globe®, and Norma Rae, for which she received a Golden Globe, along with the New York Film Critics Circle prize, the National Board of Review Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, the National Society of Film Critics honor and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. »
In 2003, William James Murray (better known to those who haven't spent hours reading his Wikipedia page as Bill Murray) starred in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," a poignant, somber romantic comedy that spotlighted the budding relationship between an aging film star (Murray) and the lonely wife of a photographer (Scarlett Johansson) in Tokyo. Murray was nominated for an Oscar for said performance, but he ultimately lost to Sean Penn's turn in "Mystic River."
At one point, he also did the Garfield movies.
But herein lies the massive injustice. Bill Murray should have been nominated for an Academy Award for every other movie he's done. There. We said it. The following is a comprehensive list of Murray movies where the Academy unconscionably overlooked his performance, starting from the very beginning of his illustrious career.
Role: Tripper Harrison
Analysis: We're willing to forgive this one, as the »
- Nick Blake
Flight is Robert Zemeckis first full-blown live-action movie in over a decade. So it’s kind of a big deal, considering who he is. The Aero in Santa Monica hosted a weekend-long event, celebrating Zemeckis career by screening a few of his classic films including Back to the Future, Who Frames Roger Rabbit and Cast Away. On Sunday night, the theater screened Flight to a sold out crowd. After the film, Zemeckis showed up for a Q&A in which he talked about Tom Hanks, his favorite scene in Flight and the meaning of filmmaking.
We were able to attend the event. Here are some highlights of that night’s conversation:
Zemeckis, who is a pilot himself, is no stranger to plane crashes. His 2000 film Cast Away revolves around an airplane crash landing incident. He mentioned that he had to have a lot of conversations with his representatives and partners »
- Laura Frances
"I describe him as very fun-loving," he tells Zap2it. "He is happily married and very comfortable with his sexuality, to the point -- you know what?
"Brad is basically a girl," he adds. "He is a lesbian. He is just one of those guys, he met this woman who opened him to the finer things in life."
Wayans, who looks and sounds like his famous dad, began on his father's sitcom, "My Wife and Kids."
"I used to do punch-up writing for my dad's TV show," he says. "I would sit on the sidelines and pitch jokes between takes. It was all optional; if he wants, he will take it."
That led to Wayans' two careers, in stand-up and writing.
"I honestly fell into all that stuff, especially because English is one of my worst subjects, »
Even though many are proclaiming the demise of the written word, and in some cases, such as print media, this consternation appears to be warranted, there is still a sizable market of people who are only too eager to read the latest smash novel from the latest flavor of the month author. Particularly in the young-adult fantasy genre, with series like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, there are more than enough adolescent eyes scavenging the literary landscape to fulfill publishers’ monetary wants and desires.
Somewhat surprisingly though, this trend has not been limited strictly to the youths of the world, with their abundance of free time just looking to be filled with a book, but has also extended to their busy parents, who manage to squeeze in some reading in between the numerous daily obligations that make up their lives. Adult fiction, using every connotation of the word »
- Christopher Lominac
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...
It was obvious I would discuss this; The Observer writes a short piece about *shudder* Casablanca 2: As Time Goes By:
"According to a planned sequel to the 1942 classic, the couple, played by Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, had a child together who was brought up in America by Lund and her husband, the principled humanitarian Victor Laszlo. The sequel, Return to Casablanca or As Time Goes By, is being developed in Hollywood by Warner Bros and will see Lund's illegitimate son return to North Africa to seek out his real father's past."
Read the full article here.
So the frustration sets in - and I partly blame myself. The only reason I even know about this information is because I read an awful amount of film news on a regular basis. There are bound to be thousands of films that have fell by the wayside because, »
Exclusive: After seeing so many of his novels turned into films, Nick Hornby is taking on the work of a peer. He has signed to write the script for Wild, the bestselling Cheryl Strayed memoir that Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea have set up with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce with Pohlad, who’ll finance development. In Wild, Strayed tells the inspiring story of a woman who tries to rebuild her shattered life by taking on a mission not seen in film since Forrest Gump ran across the country. Traumatized by the death of her mother and then the breakup of her marriage, Strayed made the impulsive decision to try regaining her mojo by taking on an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Despite no experience in long-distance hiking, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR.
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