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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Movies, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,687
1. New Line Cinema Snatches Up Film Rights For I Was Here

I Was HereNew Line Cinema has picked up the film rights for Gayle Forman’s newest title, I Was Here. Penguin Young Readers Group published the young adult novel earlier this year.

In 2014, the studio released an adaptation based on Forman’s popular book, If I Stay; Forman served an executive producer for that movie. She plans take on that position again for the new film project.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story follows “Cody, an 18-year-old whose best friend Meg takes her own life. Looking for answers, Cody begins a brave and dangerous journey that takes her from her dead-end Washington town to Meg’s college dorm, to the clubs of Seattle, to the deserts of Nevada, and to the darkest parts of her own psyche.”

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2. Robert Downey Jr teases a big announcement in eight days

downey avengers 2 poster

Coming off of the somewhat mixed reaction to the new Avengers: Age of Ultron poster that was released yesterday, Robert Downey Jr. tweeted out an Iron Man-based poster for the film.

Additionally, he teased that a big announcement is coming in 8 days:


What would qualify as a big announcement here? The obvious answer would be that Spider-Man has been cast, and the announcement yesterday that Danny Elfman would be providing additional music for Avengers: Age of Ultron has some wondering if we might be seeing Spider-Man sooner than we think. For those who may not recall, Elfman composed the score for the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. Then again, he also scored the Ang Lee Hulk, so any deduction there may be pointless.

I wouldn’t hang my hopes on it, but a post-credits scene might not be out of the question…let’s see what a week from now brings us.

3 Comments on Robert Downey Jr teases a big announcement in eight days, last added: 2/25/2015
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3. Ben Hardy to join X-Men: Apocalypse in undisclosed role


Bryan Singer continues to add young mutants to his ensemble cast for X-Men: Apocalypse, which currently consists of teenage versions of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee); along with the adult-aged Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence).

Now The Wrap reports that Ben Hardy (EastEnders) is in talks to join in a “key, as-yet-undisclosed role” in the 1980’s set sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past. At one point, Hardy was one of the actors in contention for Cyclops, so the fact that he would stay on Singer’s radar is a good sign.

One look at Hardy and it’s hard to imagine him playing anyone but Angel, especially given that Oscar Isaac‘s Apocalypse is the film’s antagonist. The report’s sources say that he’s been cast in an altogether different role though, so it remains to be seen.

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4. Community director Rob Schrab to helm The Lego Movie Sequel

batman lego

Announced today via press release, Rob Schrab will be making his feature film directorial debut on the much-anticipated sequel to last year’s smash hit The Lego Movie.

The new film will be written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who are stepping out of their directing duties for The Lego Movie Sequel, but they will be staying on as producers along with Roy Lee and Dan Lin.

Lord and Miller released a joint-statement on Schrab signing aboard:

We are so excited to collaborate with Rob. He is a comedy genius, a visual savant, and we have been stalking him for years. No one works harder than Rob, and his aesthetic, combined with his sense of humor, bring a strong, unique, thoughtful, and passionately nerdy voice to this project. People who know him are slapping their foreheads today and saying, ‘Of course!’

The sequel is one of three feature films that will be spinning out of The Lego Movie along with Ninjago, which hits September 23, 2016 and and an untitled Lego Batman film due out in May 2017. Animation Supervisor for The Lego Movie, Chris McKay, was originally supposed to helm The Lego Movie Sequel, but he instead will be directing the Lego Batman feature.

No date for The Lego Movie Sequel has been announced.

1 Comments on Community director Rob Schrab to helm The Lego Movie Sequel, last added: 2/24/2015
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5. Rumor: Could Shazam get bumped up on WB’s release calendar?

black adam new 52

Shazam!, one of the 2019 entries in Warner Bros’ DC Cinematic Universe slate, has had a tentative date of April 5, 2019 attached to it for a few months now. It seemed like an awfully long time away to have Dwayne Johnson tied up into something that won’t see release for years.

While nothing has officially changed on that front, Johnson himself hinted to MTV that perhaps we may see Shazam! sooner than we think:

Well, you know, it may happen a little earlier than what has been predicted. The script is coming in, it’s great, the support from the studio has been great, and it’s just a great opportunity especially with Black Adam where you can take a guy who starts off as a bad guy, turns into an anti-hero, we can make him vicious, a little bit of winking charm.

Given that Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad are both locked in, and Wonder Woman begins shooting this Fall, it’s doubtful that Shazam! can get moved up too far ahead. This goes doubly so for 2017 with both Wonder Woman and Justice League Part 1 headed for release that year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shazam! take over The Flash‘s spot in the 2018 schedule though. With not even a screenwriter announced for the latter as of yet, that might be the most likely development.

0 Comments on Rumor: Could Shazam get bumped up on WB’s release calendar? as of 2/24/2015 4:51:00 PM
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6. The Avengers: Age of Ultron poster, that’s a lot of characters!

Thanks to the film’s official Facebook page, here’s a look at the new poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

age of ultron poster


I admire the talent of the designer that was able to get all ten Avengers in there, including Paul Bettany‘s Vision up top.

That first Infinity War poster will look like a Where’s Wally/Waldo? book if this keeps up!

1 Comments on The Avengers: Age of Ultron poster, that’s a lot of characters!, last added: 2/24/2015
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7. Entertainment Round-Up: Margot Robbie, James Gunn, Telltale Games, Pee-Wee comes to Netflix

james gunn

There’s snow on the ground here in Atlanta, and I can’t wait for Spring to finally arrive. Seriously.

Here are the big updates for this morning:

– This is not a big surprise, given that probably every actor that signs up for a superhero film these days has a multi-picture contract, but Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie has confirmed that she has one too. Get used to seeing lots of Harley Quinn in future DC movies, provide all goes well for the studio.

– Making the rounds yesterday was James Gunn‘s Facebook post regarding the awards-season/Birdman-birthed narrative that superhero movies are the death-knell of creativity in Hollywood, it’s pretty wonderful:

Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.

I’ve made B-movies, independent films, children’s movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they’ve taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film.

If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a “serious” filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.

At this point, I have a hard time imagining that a comic-book based superhero film will ever win a live-action Best Picture Oscar (if The Dark Knight couldn’t even be nominated), but does it actually matter? Not really. Let’s just continue to hope for more Avengers, Dark Knights, Winter Soldiers and films with a nice personal stamp on them and less of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 variety.

– Telltale Games has, over the the past few years, sparked a revival of the adventure game genre with comics-based titles like The Walking Dead and Fables (along with Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands). Today, Lionsgate Films and Telltale announced the former’s investment into the burgeoning game developer. What does it mean for Telltales’ output? We may see some television and video game co-development soon, particularly in terms of an original property. At the very least more Lionsgate properties will surely be headed into the development cycle.

– Former Bat-Mite voice actor Paul Reubens is bringing his famous Pee-Wee Herman character back to television, as Netflix has announced that the feature, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, will be coming to the streaming service. The new film is co-written by Reubens and Paul Rust (Comedy Bang Bang), with John Lee (Inside Amy Schumer) directing. Judd Apatow will produce under his Apatow Productions banner.

5 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Margot Robbie, James Gunn, Telltale Games, Pee-Wee comes to Netflix, last added: 2/24/2015
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8. Nicolas Cage Lands Role in Snowden Movie

SnowdenAcademy Award-winning actor Nicholas Cage has joined the cast for the Snowden film adaption. Cage will play “a former U.S. Intelligence Official.”

Two-time Golden Globe-nominated actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt will tackle the titular role of whistleblower Edward Snowden (pictured, via). Filmmaker Oliver Stone wrote a screenplay based on two books, Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus and Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.

Here’s more from Variety:”Snowden was charged in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Justice with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property and his passport was revoked a week later by the U.S. Department of State. He was granted temporary asylum by Russia last year. Open Road Films will release the film in the U.S. on December 25.” To learn more about Snowden, check out his TED Talk.

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9. In Case You Didn’t Notice…


a movie based on a superhero comic book won a best picture Oscar last night.

6 Comments on In Case You Didn’t Notice…, last added: 2/24/2015
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10. Your Complete 2015 Academy Award Winner List


Last night’s Academy Awards ceremony has come and gone, and below you can find the complete list of winners (with links to reviews my team over at GeekRex have written for a few of the selections). There aren’t too many surprises this year, though I will grouse a bit about Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay (I lean towards Richard Linklater, Michael Keaton, and Whiplash there). Regardless, it was a tough night for the Boyhood camp. I think the Academy may regret that one in future years. Or maybe not, this is the same body that handed over the top prize to The King’s Speech just a few years ago (let’s not even get into what it beat).

On a much more positive note, J.K. Simmons (General Eiling from Justice League Unlimited!) and Julianne Moore both finally got their long deserved dues! Additionally Interstellar won for Best Visual Effects, and The Grand Budapest Hotel took home some serious hardware in the craft categories. It’s hard not to be happy with that.

Best Picture

Birdman,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole

Best Actress

Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

Best Actor

Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Imitation Game,” Graham Moore

Best Original Screenplay

“Birdman,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Best Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Alexandre Desplat

Best Song
“Glory” from “Selma“; Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn

Best Documentary Feature
“CITIZENFOUR,” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Film Editing
Whiplash,” Tom Cross

Best Cinematography

“Birdman,” Emmanuel Lubezki

Production Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)

Best Animated Feature

“Big Hero 6,” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

Short Film, Animated
“Feast,” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

Visual Effects
Interstellar,” Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

Sound Editing
“American Sniper,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound Mixing
“Whiplash,” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Documentary Short Subject

“Crisis Hotline,” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

Short Film, Live Action

“The Phone Call,” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Best Foreign Film

“Ida,” Pawel Pawlikowski

Makeup and Hairstyling

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

Costume Design

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Milena Canonero


7 Comments on Your Complete 2015 Academy Award Winner List, last added: 2/24/2015
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11. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Hour FIVE

hope brando

Is it over? Can I start figuring out my March Madness brackets?

No? SIGH The things I do in my spare time…

11:04   HAHAHAHAHA!   Original Song.  But two weren’t performed?  Selma.  And we learn their real names!  Great speeches!


What’s left?  Score.  Two writing awards.  Two acting awards.  Director.  Picture.  And Lady Gaga.

11:13  Song of Music?  Really…  Wow.  Lady Gaga.   Never would I have imagined.   WOW.  She’s got pipes!  Grammys, and now Oscars.  She’s having a great year.

Oh wow….   pardon me… allergies acting up again…

11:20   Best Original Score:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

11:29  Eddie Murphy   (James Brown intro?)   Original Screenplay:  Birdman (spoiler!)  Is this the greatest number of winners for screenplay?  Usually, the more credited writers, the worse the screenplay.

turing11:33  Oprah Winfrey  (The Spy Who Loved Me intro?)   Best Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game.  (It would have been nice had they shown the actual book covers…)  Great speech!   Seen the movie?  Read the book!

11:41  Ben Affleck (I’ve got you under my skin intro?)  Best Director: Birdman

11:45  Three to go…

11:47   Best Actor.  Nice basic simple dress.  Eddie Redmayne.  The Theory of Everything.

11:53  (Eye of the Tiger?)  Best Actress:  Julianne Moore, Still Alice.

12:00  Magic Act.  Nice tux.

12:03  Best Picture.  Sean Penn.  Birdman

12:08  And we’re done!    Whoever did the titles…. give them a Key Award!  12:12 AM

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12. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Hour FOUR


I’ve got to concentrate… concentrate… concentrate… Hello?… hello… hello… Echo… echo… echo… Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…

It’s Ten PM here… this should, in a perfect world, be the last hour of the telecast.
It would be, if the show started at 7 PM, and ran to form. We’d be watching the major awards being presented, recipients would have plenty of time to talk and generate memorable moments, and it would all end before 11 PM, possibly even 10:30.

But typing this at 4:50 PM, I doubt we won’t see any majors until 10:30, if we’re lucky. Let’s see if that’s true.

10:00  Rita Ora.

10:02   Nine awards of 24 so far.   It’s gonna be a long night.

10:03   Visual effects.  Interstellar.  A shoutout to the scientists!

10:06  Animated Short.  (Nice dress!)  Feast.

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13. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Hour Three

Halfway done…  (yeah… right…)

9:07 Wait… J.K. that’s the insurance guy?!? Mind blown!

9:09  And I’ve got signal!  We’ll see how long Direct TV works…   What’s with the Oscars on Spikes?  Rather morbid.

9:10  Foreign Film   IDA.   HA!  Great speech!

(And Budapest won Makeup.)

9:14   ABC.com’s feed is about a minute behind the tv feed.

9:17   “escargots”  ha!   ooh…  LEGo!  oh my…   holee…   Oprah…  the Possum beats the Super Bowl sharks!

WOW!  Love the Devo Lego hat!  And Batman!  That… that might have won the Emmy for the telecast.

9:25   Short film… The Phone Call.  Heh…   fun speech!

9:28   Documentary short…  Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1  Great dresses!

9:31  Viola Davis.  Lifetime awards!  Wow…  that’s an incredible class!  Maureen O’Hara!  Hayao Miyazaki!  Jean-Claude Carriere!  Harry Belafonte!

9:35  Yes, rawther!  Much nicer in a British accent!

9:36  Damn….  not fair!  Tim McGraw.  Why are the most romantic songs country western songs?  (Pardon me… allergies are acting up.)

9:43  HA!     And now the techie awards!  Did you take a drink when they said “voxel”?

9:46  Sound Mixing: Whiplash!  $3 Million dollars, short production time.  Amazing.

9:48   Sound Editing:  American Sniper.

9:51   Supporting Actress.   (Heh…  good intro!)  Wow.. great clips.  Patricia Arquette, Boyhood   (First political statement?)

9:58  That social network monologue from Birdman needs to go viral!

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14. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Hour Two


And it’s 8 PM!  What’s next?

8 PM… what’s with those red Nazi latex gloves?

8:05   Jeff Goldblum looks like he stepped out of a 1950s think tank!

8:07  Ed Norton is having a good year!  Birdman and Grand Budapest!

8:08  Big Hero 6!  Baymax is getting lots of love! Yay, #diversity!

8:11 I like how the red carpet big names get interviewed, and then ABC transfers inside to chat with the “other” nominees!  Those chats are actually better!

8:13  Zoe Saldana is presenting Best Animated Feature, and she was very diplomatic!  Nice simple dress.

Is that Eddie Murphy’s wife?  Wow.  Stunning.

8:18  That’s a great history of Oscar by Robert Osborne!

8:20 Felicity Jones looks stunning!  Can’t wait to see the selfies!

8:25   F!  Direct TV is not working…  so I’m stuck to backstage.    There’s the voice of god telling people to sit down.  I guess they use the big opening number to allow people to get to their seats before the awards start?

8:30  Nice film about Neil Patrick Harris!

8:43  No surprise there…  Best Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons.

8:48  Briefcase?  Not submerged in water?  ABC.com has the NPH briefcase cam, so you can see how the stage is being prepped.

8:51  I like the three-ring circus stage!

8:54  During the commercials, the lights go low, and people mingle in the aisles.

8:57  And everyone races back to their seats!

8:59  Grand Budapest for Costume Design.

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15. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Hour One


If you look closely, you’ll see Hope, Crosby, and Lamour in the back…


And we’re off… but we have to wait 90 minutes for the show to start.

Geez….  start it at 7, let it run four hours, end it on time, everyone’s happy.

Seriously, you can’t get the butts in seats by 4 PM local time?  How long does it take to get ready?  It’s not like billions of people are watching you on live TV, or taking thousands of photos on the red carpet….

I’ll try not to be too snarky….

…and my Direct TV box is being troublesome.

7:10  Wow… Melanie Griffith looks good for her age!

7:15   Dianne Warren?  Cool….

7:20   Patricia Arquette.   Great dress!  I think the rain is wrecking havoc on hairstyles!

7:27  Body armor….  bejewelled bodices.

7:30  American Sniper, Boyhood…  “family”  Great directors keep talented individuals for each production.

7:40  The newleyweds look VERY stylish!  Like they stepped out of the 1930s!

7:55  Stephen Hawking was in Les Mis!

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16. Carpet Bagging the Red Carpet: Live Blogging The 2015 Oscars®: Pre-Game


It’s Oscar Sunday!  As I type, Hollywood’s royalty, gentry, serfs, and court jesters are preparing for the second most harrowing live event of their lives.  (The First?  Hosting Saturday Night Live.  Heckling, via Internet and smartphones.)

We here at Stately Beat Manor are preparing as well.  I’ll be your host this evening, liveblogging the event as it happens!  (If my aging cable box holds out.  I may have to stream them…or watch it backstage.)

So… it’s now 2:50 PM ET.  They officially start at 7 PM.  The show begins usually at 8:30.

As a kid, the Oscars were always on Mondays.  Before the show, Barbara Walters would have an hour special where she would interview three celebrities.  Then the show would start at 9, go over the time limit, and people complained.   Me, as a kid, realized…  get rid of Walters and start it at 8 PM!  Three hours to hand out the awards!  Eventually, they did, and it still ended late.  Then I got to wondering, why not show it on Sundays, with four hours of Prime Time?  So they did… but does the show start at 7/4?  Nope.  It starts at 8:30 PM!  90 minutes are wasted on the red carpet!  Seriously…  move that to the pregame…  say 5-7 PM, then go right into the show.  (Actually, ABC starts Oscar programming at 4PM.)  Program it like the Super Bowl.  Curtains rise at 7, you get 30 minutes of monologue or opening number, and then start handing out the naked men.  Four awards an hour.  Group them in pairs for presenters to make it more efficient:  supporting acting, writing, music, short film, documentary, makeup and costume, sound…   It might even be possible to do three of those doubles in one hour!  Each hour, there’s something glitzy.  Musical performance, tributes

Hey…  what do local affiliates on the West Coast show after the Oscars end at 8ish PM?  ABC should fill that with Jimmy Kimmel, live feeds from the parties, analysis, ending at 10 PM local time.  Which is 1 AM East Coast time.  Nine hours of Oscar programming!

Here’s an even better idea…. Oscar Week!  The week before, ABC would air specials about each category.  Interview the nominees, discuss the skill and art behind what they do, anecdotes, yadda yadda.  The major categories, you make it a two-hour special, ending with Best Picture on Saturday.  In a way, ABC would be programming this like the Olympics!  (And Hollywood studios would sponsor it by advertising coming attractions!)  Also, the Sunday before, ABC hosts a two-hour “In Memorium” special which features almost everyone, and directs to a special page at Oscars.org with detailed biographies.

Okay…  4:15.  I’m going to prep the other pages now.   Feel free to comment as I live blog.  Enter the time, so we can all keep track!  I’ll be back at 7 PM when the show starts!


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17. An A-Z of the Academy Awards

After what feels like a year's worth of buzz, publicity, predictions, and celebrity gossip, the 87th Academy Award ceremony is upon us. I dug into the entries available in the alphabetized categories of The Dictionary of Film Studies-- and added some of my own trivia -- to highlight 26 key concepts in the elements of cinema and the history surrounding the Oscars.

The post An A-Z of the Academy Awards appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. Want to Win Your Oscar Pool And Be The Envy of Millions? Try These Tips! (with selected shorts)


Ms. Megawatt, Catwoman and Green Goblin, Wolverine… Next up, the Music Meister!

[No comics content here.  This falls under “pop culture” and general geekery. ]

So, your waistline (and gastrointestinal tract) has recovered from the Super Bowl.  You’re sick and tired of the weather.  You seek another diversion.  Well, tomorrow, Hollywood holds their soiree, handing out Oscar statuettes (“Academy Awards of Merit”, according to the rule book).

Situated right before March Madness, the Oscars allow for a warm-up to the office pools which proliferate during the NCAA tournament, and give the sports widows something to watch before hubby disappears into his mancave.

But… how to pick the winners?  The Academy has frequently been criticized for ignoring blockbusters, as most geeks realize when their favorite movies are relegated to the special effects category.  Sure, there is the glitz, the celebrity star power, but overall, the Oscars are a bit boring.  (But, then, so is football.)

So, unless you live in a major metropolitan area, the following nominees are probably the first time you’ve heard, let alone seen, of them. (Although, with the growing number of independent movie theaters, major studio sponsorship, and film festivals, it’s getting easier.  Gone are the days of waiting for Blockbuster to stock a copy!)

Here’s the technique I use, and my picks.  I don’t know what Nate Silver likes, and I’m not a cinema geek, so take the following with whatever disdain and cynicism you use when reading online.  Of course, feel free to share your comments below!

  • Consideration #1: Did Oscar snub a particular film which was later lauded by a guild?
  • Consideration #2: Which did the guilds select as winners?
  • Consideration #3:  What’s the buzz?  What did BAFTA and others pick?
  • Observation #4: If a movie is nominated for Best Picture, and Best Animated Feature or Best Foreign Film, the movie will not win Best Picture, but will win BAF or BFF.

But before we delve into the nominees…  The five films nominated for Best Animated Short Film:

TheBiggerPictureFilm-28The Bigger Picture

Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees

This won the BAFTA for British Animated Film.  It’s quite clever, using what could be described as 2.5-D animation.  The figures are painted on the walls, while in a 3-D environment.  The story is a bit bleak, and didn’t affect me.

The-Dam-Keeper-2The Dam Keeper

Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

These animators are Pixar alumni.  An interesting locale, a main character weighted with responsibility and harassment,  and a new friendship.  The setting is lush and the story a bit simple, but well worth a watch.  A possible spoiler, given the Pixar connection.


Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed

The front-runner and most-seen.  This Disney Animation short preceded “Big Hero 6″ (nominated for Best Animated Feature), and tells the story of a dog, his stomach, and his heart.  Given the strong PR push before the movie, I was a bit disappointed in the actual story.  Maybe I’ve see it so many times from Disney/Pixar, and expect something more.  Overall, it’s a good film, and I won’t be disappointed if it wins.

moultonMe and My Moulton

Torill Kove

Kove previously won an Oscar for “The Danish Poet” in 2007, and was also nominated for the biographical “My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts” in 1999.  This reminiscence deals with growing up with two unusual parents, the best friend who lives below, and how what seems perfect sometimes isn’t.


Joris Oprins

Pia plays a record, and discovers she can use it to time travel through her life.

I enjoyed this short (which it was…. only three minutes!), but it might not be meaty enough for Academy voters.   If you’d like to recreate the cartoon, you can order the single here.  I do hope they make a cartoon for the B side!

If you see the ShortsHD anthology in the theater, there are four “commended” films:

  • Sweet Cocoon  (with a predictable ending)
  • Footprints (Bill Plympton)
  • Duet (Glen Keane’s first directorial cartoon, and my favorite of all nine!  Funded by Google!)
  • Bus Story (A young woman dreams of being a rural bus driver.)

The Numberlys, Symphony No. 42and Coda were shortlisted along with the five nominees and “Footprints”, but were not included in the anthology.

— — —

And now for our feature presentation…

Best Picture:

American Sniper
Birdman   [Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild cast]
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Director:

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman  [Directors Guild…strong predictor]
Richard Linklater, Boyhood  [BAFTA]
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Best Actor:

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything  [Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA]

Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice  [Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA]
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash  [Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA]

Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood  [Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA]
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game  [Writers Guild]
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything  [BAFTA]
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Original Screenplay:

Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel  [Writers Guild, BAFTA]
E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Animated Feature:

Big Hero 6  [Visual Effects Society 5x, Cinema Audio Society, Motion Picture Sound Editors]
The Boxtrolls
How To Train Your Dragon 2 [Annies]
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

[Producers Guild, America Cinema Editors, BAFTA selected The Lego Movie.]

Best Documentary Feature:

CITIZENFOUR [BAFTA, Directors Guild, America Cinema Editors]
Last Days In Vietnam
Finding Vivian Maier
The Salt of the Earth

Best Original Song:

“Everything is Awesome,” The Lego Movie
“Glory,” Selma
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights

Best Film Editing:

American Sniper
Boyhood  [America Cinema Editors]
The Imitation Game
Whiplash [BAFTA]
The Grand Budapest Hotel [America Cinema Editors]

Best Cinematography:

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman  [BAFTA, ASC]
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Best Costume Design:

Colleen Atwood, Into The Woods [Costume Designers Guild: Fantasy]
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel [BAFTA, Costume Designers Guild: Period]
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner
Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

[Birdman won the CDG for Contemporary Film.]

[My gut says ItW deserves it, but wouldn’t be surprised if TGBH wins.]

Best Production Design:

The Grand Budapest Hotel [BAFTA, Art Directors Guild: Period Film]
The Imitation Game
Into The Woods
Mr. Turner

[Guardians of the Galaxy and Birdman won the ADGs for Fantasy and Contemporary movies.]

Best Animated Short:

The Bigger Picture [BAFTA]
The Dam Keeper
Feast [Annies]
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Live Action Short:

Boogaloo and Graham
The Phone Call
Butter Lamp

Best Documentary Short:

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Sound Editing:

American Sniper  [MPSE FX]
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Birdman [MPSE Music]
Unbroken [MPSE Dialogue]

[I’m picking Birdman on the expectation that there will be a run.]

Best Sound Mixing:

American Sniper
Birdman [Cinema Audio Society]
Whiplash [BAFTA]

Best Visual Effects:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [Visual Effects Society]
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Foreign Language Film:

Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

The Grand Budapest Hotel [BAFTA]  [2 MUAHS awards]
Guardians of the Galaxy [2 MUAHS awards]

[I think GotG deserves it, just because of sheer variety.  But TGBH will probably win it based on: its period research, aged AMPAS membership, consolation prize for getting trounced by Birdman.]

Best Original Score:

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel  [BAFTA]
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

4 Comments on Want to Win Your Oscar Pool And Be The Envy of Millions? Try These Tips! (with selected shorts), last added: 2/23/2015
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19. Gina Carano joins Deadpool cast, Colossus to appear

gina carano

And we were just talking about Deadpool yesterday…

Former mixed martial artist and Haywire star Gina Carano has signed on to the Ryan Reynolds starring X-Men spin-off. THR has relayed that she’ll be playing a character named Angel Dust, and while my X-Men universe knowledge is deplorable, I understand she’s a part of the Morlocks.

It was only a matter of time before one of these superhero flicks picked up Carano, whose action chops are impeccable.

Additionally they report that T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) is in place for a comic relief role, and that Colossus will also be returning for the picture. There’s no indication whether or not Daniel Cudmore will still be playing him, but fans of the character have to be a little excited that there’s a chance he’ll get some of the spotlight finally.

Here’s their description of the film, directed by Tim Miller and scheduled to open on February 12, 2016:

Reynolds is an assassin who is dying of cancer who undergoes a procedure that is supposed to cure him but ends up twisted and scarred while also imbued with super-powers.


0 Comments on Gina Carano joins Deadpool cast, Colossus to appear as of 2/13/2015 6:33:00 PM
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20. Entertainment Round-Up: Deadpool Casting Call, Johnson interviews Nolan, Downey Talks Civil War


If you had the day off yesterday, we hope you had a lovely Presidents Day! Here are a few of the big headlines of interest making the rounds this morning…

– There’s a Deadpool Casting Call that appeared on Casting247, under the fake-title of “WHAM!”, and has led to speculation as to which roles these place-holder names represent. As I’ve said before, my X-Men knowledge is awful, but people better in the know think that “Ridge” is at least Garrison Kane, the villain of the film.

The Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan sat down with Looper and Star Wars Episode VIII director Rian Johnson for a 30 minute interview regarding last year’s Interstellar at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. It’s a pretty great, lengthy chat for anyone interested in the art of filmmaking. (recording made available via SoundCloud user TheBigKahoona)

Robert Downey Jr. was interviewed by Empire regarding Captain America: Civil War, and states that the lead-up to the new Captain America sequel is in Avengers: Age of Ultron:

The clues are in Ultron about where we might find [Stark] next, but what would it take for Tony to completely turn around everything he’s stood for, quote-unquote, because he was the right-wing guy who could still do his own thing. The idea of Tony being able to march into Washington and say, ‘I’ll sign up’, wouldn’t have made sense if the political climate in the real world hadn’t shifted the way it has. It’s a little bit of things following a real world continuum in, ‘What would you do?’ You have to figure, ‘Were you to ask the question, what would the American government do if this were real? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Tony doing something you wouldn’t imagine?’

Bryan Singer has posted another tease for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, this time a piece of production art that shows…something. If you’re on Instagram, it’s worth following Singer’s posts, as he shares a ton of info via his account.

Some production art. #XmenApocalypse #GrantMajor I was a little busy but will continue to snap more.

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

0 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Deadpool Casting Call, Johnson interviews Nolan, Downey Talks Civil War as of 2/17/2015 4:41:00 PM
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21. Morena Baccarin joins Deadpool as female lead


Deadpool keeps adding to their growing cast, and they now have their female lead as Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Firefly) has signed onto the X-Men spinoff.

Who she’s playing is being kept under wraps, but THR reports that she’ll be playing the love interest of Ryan Reynolds‘ Wade Wilson.

Baccarin had fairly stiff competition for the unnamed role including Orange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling, Jessica De Gouw, Crystal Reed, Rebecca Rittenhouse, and Sarah Greene.

The popular actress joins Reynolds, Gina Carano, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, and whoever is cast in the still unfilled role of Colossus, as Daniel Cudmore recently stated that he will not be returning.

Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller with a script from Rhett Reese, hits theaters on February 12, 2016.

1 Comments on Morena Baccarin joins Deadpool as female lead, last added: 2/18/2015
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22. Kodi Smit-McPhee cast as Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse

kodi smi-mcphee

Didn’t I tell you to follow Bryan Singer‘s Instagram?

Late last night, the X-Men: Apocalypse director announced another piece of news regarding the production: the casting of Kodi Smit-McPhee (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Let Me In) as Nightcrawler.

It was really only a matter of time before one of Singer’s favorite mutants re-appeared, as the director almost included a Nightcrawler scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but scrapped it at the last minute.

Smit-McPhee joins new cast additions Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Alexandra Shipp in playing a younger version of a role previously cast by Singer. In this instance, he will be taking over for Alan Cumming, who was one of the stand-outs of X2: X-Men United.

This isn’t Smit-McPhee’s first shot at the X-Men Universe, as he was originally cast as Young Logan in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but dropped out to instead film The Road. He clearly dodged a bullet, hopefully his good senses have remained and it’s a good omen for Apocalypse.

X-Men: Apocalypse opens on May 27, 2016.

2 Comments on Kodi Smit-McPhee cast as Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, last added: 2/19/2015
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23. Neill Blomkamp is going to make the next Alien sequel after all

blomkamp alien 4

Right at the crack of the New Year, Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) teased fans with his concept designs for a proposed Alien sequel that he was playing around with.

Apparently, executives at 20th Century Fox were so taken with his work, and fan response to it, that they’ve hired him to direct the next Alien film per Variety.

According to other sources at The Wrap, this new film will take place after Prometheus 2, which is still going into production under Ridley Scott. Scott will produce Blomkamp’s Alien feature.

While there’s no script in place yet, Blomkamp was on the record as hoping to work with original Alien franchise star Sigourney Weaver. Additionally, Michael Biehn may also play a part in the project given his character’s (Hicks) appearance in Blomkamp’s team’s concept art.

This project may very well be the first film to be prompted over Instagram.

And how many more times can I write about Instagram this week?

Blomkamp’s new film, Chappie, starring Hugh Jackman and Sharlto Copley opens on March 6th.

What say you? Does this new Alien film get you excited for the continued life of the franchise? For my part, I love the original film, the second slightly less so, the rest are not films of which I have a high opinion. Though, I do think that Alien 3 and Prometheus both are conceptually engaging in places.


5 Comments on Neill Blomkamp is going to make the next Alien sequel after all, last added: 2/20/2015
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24. Jared Leto and Will Smith talk about their roles in Suicide Squad


This is incredibly minor in the wake of today’s Aquaman news, but WB/DC Entertainment’s other big comic-based film, Suicide Squad, got a little bit of press today.

Jared Leto, who gets the unenviable task of following Heath Ledger in the role of the Joker, spoke to Billboard briefly about what drew him to the character:

The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character…that’s what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right?…[He’s] this beautiful disaster of a character, what a big challenge.

Leto also let on that he’s bulking up for the part. Now, I realize Leto is a skinny guy, but the Joker is typically fairly thin too. Perhaps they’re going for the Frank Miller/Jim Lee All Star Batman and Robin approach:

Joker All Star

Will Smith, who plays Deadshot (but probably not with Michael Rosenbaum‘s awesome Kevin Spacey impression) spoke with MTV News about being able to make the character his own:

With this character and the DC world, I love that I’m getting the opportunity for the global definition of Deadshot. There’s been Deadshot in little appearances here and there, there’s an idea, but Deadshot isn’t defined, really. I get to be a part of the creation that will be the biggest historical image of Deadshot.

Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer, hits theaters on August 5, 2016.


0 Comments on Jared Leto and Will Smith talk about their roles in Suicide Squad as of 2/20/2015 7:45:00 PM
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25. Entertainment Round-Up: Wonder Woman, Daredevil, Officer Downe, Supergirl, and a few Oscar predictions


It’s Oscar Eve! I’ll toss out a few Oscar Predictions towards the bottom of today’s round-up, but let’s get to what’s making headlines today in the world of comics-based entertainment.

– In a piece about a possible future Gal Gadot project, Deadline has reported that the actress will begin filming Wonder Woman in the fall. If that’s indeed the case, the never quite made official release date of June 23rd, 2017 sounds pretty likely to be met for the Michelle MacLaren production.

– The official Daredevil Netflix series twitter feed teased out the following photo yesterday:


The indication being that Daredevil’s father Jack Murdock fought The Absorbing Man at some point in the series’ history. Though, depending on the age that Creel is portrayed as, this could present a bit of a continuity issue since Creel appeared as an adversary of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team during the first few episodes of this current season. Perhaps his power keeps him from aging?

Sons of Anarchy star Kim Coates has been cast as the lead in the upcoming feature film adaptation of Officer Downe, based on the Image comic by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham. Officer Downe will mark the directorial debut of Shawn Crahan aka Clown, co-founder of the metal act Slipknot, while Casey is penning the script.

– And finally, Supergirl now has a matriarchal figure for Melissa Benoist‘s Kara, as Nashville‘s Laura Benanti has signed on to play Alura Zor-El. Alura will be a recurring role in the series, offering her daughter guidance that echoes through space and time.

While Torsten will have a much better and comprehensive write-up on The Beat shortly, for whatever it’s worth, here are my Oscar predictions for tomorrow night in the major categories.:

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash (no guts, no glory over here!)

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Best Editing: Sandra Adair, Boyhood

3 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Wonder Woman, Daredevil, Officer Downe, Supergirl, and a few Oscar predictions, last added: 2/23/2015
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