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The holidays are upon us, which means one thing: Time to watch screeners.
Since many awards voters are busy working people, they may have a lot of films to catch up on. Every year, awards-giving organizations such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences urge voters to see contenders in theaters. But it’s an open secret in Hollywood that screeners are often the method of choice.
Many of the films in contention will play well on a home screen, but even better in a theater. So if you are a voter with limited time — or simply a consumer with a preference for VOD — try to get to the multiplex for at least a handful of films. If you can’t do that, feel free to see them on small screen; just make sure you see them.
Here are 5 bigscreen priorities:
“The Wolf of Wall Street”: The lead character, »
- Tim Gray
Normally when hired to make a promotional video for a Hollywood feature film, you focus on promoting the film. Instead, filmmaker Casey Neistat spent the entire $25,000 budget he was given to promote "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" to fly to the Philippines and help the victims of the recent typhoon which devastated the region. Renting two buses filled with supplies, Neistat ended up delivering 10,000 meals, tools to 35 villages, and basic medicine to local organizations. The New York based filmmaker is the writer, director, editor and star of the HBO series "The Neistat Brothers" and has released dozens of short movies on his YouTube account. Watch Neistat's video documenting the relief effort below. »
- James Hiler
A director was contacted by 20th Century Fox and asked to make a promotional film to help spread the word about Ben Stiller’s new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The film centers on an awkward and quiet guy who retreats into his fantasy world where he’s a damn hero. Essentially, it’s about chasing your dreams. Director Casey Neistat told the studio he would gladly take their $25,000 production budget if they allowed him to fly to the Philippines and help the victims of the typhoon that made landfall in early November this year. Surprisingly, and much to the skepticism of many Internet folks out there, Fox said yes. This is the video Neistat captured, which many people believe was staged by the studio. It’s a feel-good situation, as...
- Alison Nastasi
Walter Mitty, whose name has entered the English language to describe someone as a daydreamer, first appeared in 1939, the lead character of James Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, where he imagined himself everything from a brilliant surgeon to a fighter pilot. He hit the big screen in 1947, portrayed by Tony Kaye, but since then, the rights have languished, passed from studio to studio, and director to director, including Steven Spielberg and Gore Verbinski, with no joy. But now, it has found it's way to the big screen again, this time with Ben Stiller at the helm, delivering a visually stunning and uplifting tale of one man breaking out of his own personal bubble, and walking out into the world. The Walter Mitty (Stiller) for the 21st century is a negatives asset manager for Life magazine, the only person that can deal with acclaimed, and eccentric, photographer Sean O'Connell »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Far from perfect, but its humor is nearly Monty Python-esque, much more deliciously absurd and creatively bizarre than its predecessor. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): hated the first film
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
By Odin’s beard! The spirit of Movies 2013 is all over Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. I’m not even kidding. It’s got a “working at SeaWorld will kill your soul” vibe, just like Blackfish. It’s all superfly 70s New York bullshit and self-delusion like American Hustle. It’s got a shark fight right outta The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (and poor Kristen Wiig playing the exact same part she plays in Mitty, the gal a guy falls in love with from afar at the office, even if it’s all way goofier here). It’s got a man lamenting getting left behind »
- MaryAnn Johanson
What would you do if someone offered you $25,000 to live your dream? This was the question posed to filmmaker Casey Neistat by 20th Century Fox, while the studio was seeking an inventive new way to promote The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Directed by Ben Stiller, the film is about an average man leaving his routine behind to seek out adventure and live his dreams. Neistat could have said he wanted to climb the Alps, or swim with sharks, or be BatKid for a day. But instead, he told Fox he wanted the entirety of their budget for this promotion to bring aid to the people of the Philippines. Prepare yourself for a good cry and check out the resulting video below: On November 7th, 2013, the most powerful typhoon ever recorded hit the Philippines, causing massive devastation. Like many whose hearts went out to the victims of this horrendous natural »
Aww: Justin Timberlake stopped a concert in Louisville to let a man propose to his girlfriend. (Spoiler alert: she said yes!) Jessica Simpson showed off her slim postbaby body in a new Weight Watchers photo. Colin Farrell and Elizabeth Taylor were late-night phone buddies. Legendary country singer Ray Price has passed away at 87. Shia Labeouf apologized to artist Daniel Clowes after he adapted one of Daniel's graphic novels for a short film without proper credit. One man was given $25,000 by the makers of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to make a promotional video, and he chose to spend it on typhoon victims in the Philippines. Watch what happened: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the Nsa data-collection program most likely violates the Constitution. George Zimmerman is selling America-themed artwork on eBay. The current high bid is just under $100,000. Harvard police ordered an evacuation on Monday following a bomb threat. »
- Maria Mercedes Lara
The longlist for the Best Song category in the Oscars has been announced – so what should make the cut?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the longlist of songs for its Best Original Song Oscar in 2014, ahead of the nominations for the shortlist on January 14.
The list features 75 songs written for movies over the last year, with artists including Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, U2, Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and M83 all making the grade. Pharrell is included for his hit Happy, currently in the top 5 of the UK charts, which appears in Despicable Me 2, and other animated films make up a large proportion of those selected: Epic, Turbo, The Croods, Planes, Escape From Planet Earth and Monsters University all also get a mention.
The Great Gatsby, with its bold and incongruous soundtrack of modern musicians, gets five mentions for songs by Jay Z, »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Film director Casey Neistat headed to the Philippines after he was given the opportunity to help those affected by one of the strongest typhoons to hit the land. In a YouTube video posted by the director, he revealed how he got involved with filming his experience. Video: 'Secret Life of Walter Mitty' Trailer: Ben Stiller's Dreamy Awards Contender He explains how he received an email from Fox, inviting him to take part in a promotional campaign inspired by Ben Stiller's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. "Dear Casey, Fox is releasing a new movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We
- Stephanie Chan
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled a roster of 75 songs that are eligible for Oscar, which includes a lineup of powerhouse performers including Beyonce (“Epic”), Lana Del Rey and Jay-z (both for “The Great Gatsby”), Ed Sheeran (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”), Taylor Swift (“One Chance”), U2 (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”) and Pharrell Williams (“Despicable Me 2″).
Members of the music branch will vote in order of preference; the five receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations. Nominations will be announced Jan. 16, with awards handed out March 2.
While there is a stellar lineup of contenders, the music branch has sometimes seemed to avoid big names. In addition, songs that are used over closing credits seem to have a disadvantage compared to songs that are performed during the film, since voters will look at clips of the song use.
The Academy says only »
- Tim Gray
Twentieth Century Fox enlisted Neistat to make a video based on the theme of “live your dreams.” The studio wanted it to inspire and motivate viewers to try something they’ve never done before. Instead of creating a video featuring Stiller, Neistat sought approval to spend the entire budget on disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Fox agreed.
The result is a nearly six-and-a-half minute YouTube video following Neistat’s journey to the Philippines.
Neistat and his crew travelled multiple days before arriving in the city of Cebu, their first stop and the place where they would purchase all their supplies. They bought everything from Spam to coffee, but the journey didn’t end there. »
- Francesca Bacardi
After two and a half years of negotiations were completed earlier this year, 20th Century Fox is at last moving forward with its remake of Guys And Dolls. The studio has set Danny Strong to write the script adaptation. Strong scripted the final two installments of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, after scripting Lee Daniels’ The Butler and adapting the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code sequel The Lost Symbol. This is the project based on Damon Runyon’s short stories that captured the rogue gangsters and gamblers of the 1920s and 1930s, which starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra. Over the years, those interested included Bob Fosse, Baz Luhrmann, and Hugh Jackman, and I reported earlier this year that the studio was intrigued by the potential pairing of Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, though there is no shortage of actors who want this. First, of course, they need a script. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
In his secret life, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller, who also directs) dreams big…really, really big. There’s no challenge beyond his grasp, be it climbing a massive glacier or rescuing a senior citizen from an exploding building. When he’s not daydreaming, the not-so-secret life of Walter Mitty is the opposite of his heroic alter-ego’s; he’s just an everyday guy facing imminent career downsizing, who’s too timid to ask out his pretty co-worker (Kristen Wiig). But when Walter faces his ultimate real-world test, he springs into action on a global adventure exceeding anything even he could have dreamed of. Check out the great trailer here:
In the trailer, what magazine does »
- Dan Bullock
The International Press Academy has announced its nominations for the 18th annual Satellite Awards and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," David O. Russell's "American Hustle," and Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" led the pack.
Winners will be announced on March 9, 2014 at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Here's the complete nominations:
Actress in a Motion Picture
Actor in a Motion Picture
Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)
Making a good trailer is not an easy proposition; while some trailers come off as too vague, telling the audience nothing enticing about the project it is promoting, others can seen too expository, revealing the plot of the entire movie in two minutes. A great trailer, however, takes on a life of its own, becoming something worth revisiting regardless of one’s thoughts on the film it is attached to. Every year sees a few such trailers released, and 2013 was no different. Part 1 of our list of the year’s best trailers was released last week, and here is Part 2.
15) Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proved himself a versatile force in front of the camera. However, nobody really knew what to expect from his first directorial effort, but the movie’s first trailer went a long way towards both giving an idea and furthering the mystery. Providing a look at the titular character, »
- Deepayan Sengupta
If the first Hobbit movie felt padded out, that didn't seem to put anyone off: its global box-office take was more than $1bn. But now all that protracted set-up is out of the way this middle section hits the ground running and barely lets up, as Freeman and his dwarves hack their way through a theme park's worth of action adventures to close in on the Lonely Mountain. It's a giddy ride, for sure, but we also get a fuller sense of Middle Earth's landscape and inhabitants. Oh yes, and there's a dragon…
Fill The Void (U)
The strictures of ultra-orthodox Judaism give this modern-day story a curiously archaic feel, »
- Steve Rose
A busy day of reviews as we take a look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks. Laremy also watched Nebraska and Fruitvale Station so we discuss those briefly and today we held the Winter 2014 Box Office Draft, which includes movies from January 2014 thru April. A quick reminder of our upcoming Holiday Schedule where we will be taking a break from December 16-26, returning on December 27. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail »
- Brad Brevet
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that hands out these golden dildos is basically a joke. It consists of 90-odd freelance entertainment reporters based in Los Angeles who contribute stories to foreign publications (they need only four a year to qualify). But the joke Globes are still a marketing force to reckon with: The annual awards ceremony on NBC draws millions of viewers – and millions of dollars – for the HFPA.
Can 12 Years a Slave Sweep the Golden Globes?
The Globes need to put stars in their seats. (Stars bring in TV ratings. »
Ben Stiller directs and stars in this modernised remake of the fantasy comedy The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, which is based on James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. Stiller takes over the title role, previously played by Danny Kaye, who finds his job, along with that of his co-worker and crush are threatened and takes action in the real world. Embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
The Secret Life Of Watler Witty arrives in cinemas in the Us on the 25th December and the UK from Boxing Day.
- Craig Hunter
Hollywood filmmakers who have shot in Iceland have added their support in a fight against plans by the government of Reykjavik to slash state support of the local film industry. Directors Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Terrence Malick; Game of Thrones producers Davod Beniof and Chris Newman; G. Mac Brown, executive producer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Judge Dredd producer Beau Marks are among the group that have signed a petition saying they stand “with the entire film community in Iceland, in their efforts to maintain the current levels of government support for filmmaking” urging the Icelandic
- Scott Roxborough
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