I love nude yellow dudes not named John Boehner

Our new publishing system was hand crafted by the dark lord Satan. I had this brilliant rant wherein I broke down why I love the Oscars and why it's okay to watch the Oscars even though hipster bloggers hate the Oscars and try to show you how cool they are by creating the perfect "I could give a shit about the Oscars...here are my Oscar thoughts" post. I was hilarious and eloquent. You would have wept and laughed and possibly had things happen in your pants! Then the world wide web barfed fury upon me and swallowed my creation into the cyber hellmouth that lies behind my monitor.

So the gist is this: The Oscars matter because people watch it. Maybe not everyone, but lots of people. The Oscars don't matter because a group mostly composed of rich white dudes can't really judge what the "best" films of the year are. They're entertainment, pure and simple, and just like all entertainment, if you like it you like it and if you don't you don't. Me? I like to watch it AND bitch about it, because that's the most entertainment I can derive out of it. Oh, and in my original post I managed to work in a rant about what in the Nicholas Cage is happening to Joel McHale's hair on "Community." It included the phrase "I'd rather have thinning hair and a five-head than have it look like my brain barfed a beaver." Don't ask me how I got there, other than I'm always thinking of "Community." Anyway, here's my thoughts on Oscar night. Take it or leave it. I originally had these detailed explanations for why I made each pick I made, and I may go in and put them up later, but I don't have the strength to retype that whole mess. So here you go, the rapid-fire version of my picks.

Best Picture

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Should win: Inception
Will win: The King's Speech

Best Director Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O. Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joel & Ethan Coen - True Grit

Should win: Darren Aronofsky
Will win: Tom Hooper

Best Actor

Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

Should win: Jeff Bridges Will win: Colin Firth

Best Actress

Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Should win and will win: Natalie Portman

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech

Should win and will win: Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Should win: Melissa Leo
Will win: Hailee Steinfeld

Best Original Screenplay

Another Year
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech

Should win: Inception
Will win: The King's Speech

Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Should win and will win: The Social Network

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Should win and will win: Toy Story 3

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful
Dogtooth
In a Better World
Incendies
Outside the Law

Should win and will win: Biutiful

Best Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Gasland
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waste Land

Should win: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Will win: Inside Job

Best Animated Short

Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Things
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

Should win: Madagascar
Will win: Day & Night

Best Documentary Short

Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Stranger No More
The Warriors of Qiugang

Should win and will win: Stranger No More

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

Should win: Inception
Will win: The King's Speech

Best Cinematography

Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Should win: Inception
Will win: The King's Speech

Best Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Should win: True Grit
Will win: Alice in Wonderland

Best Film Editing

The Social Network
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours

Should win: Black Swan
Will win: The King's Speech

Best Live Action Short

The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Should win: God of Love
Will win: Wish 143

Best Original Score

How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Should win: Inception
Will win: The Social Network

Best Original Song

"Coming Home" - Country Strong
"I See the Light" - Tangled
"If I Rise" - 127 Hours
"We Belong Together" - Toy Story 3

Should win: "We Belong Together"
Will win: "If I Rise"

Best Makeup

Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Should win and will win: The Wolfman

Best Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
Hereafter
Inception
Iron Man 2

Should win and will win: Inception

Best Sound Editing

Inception
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

Should win and will win: Inception

Best Sound Mixing

Salt
The Social Network
True Grit
Inception
The King's Speech

Should win and will win: Inception


entered on 02/26/11 at 12:22 AM | read comments »


Daily Dump for Wednesday (February 23)

In a mere 4 days, I'm live-tweeting the Oscars. I like saying that because it sounds like I'm going to be there. I won't be. I'll probably be pantsless on my couch, sipping inexpensive whiskey. This also means that 2 days from now I give you all the winners, along with my rants about who should win (cough, Inception, cough) but won't. Again, to all my friends on Facebook (which has my twitter feed feeding it), be warned. Now, on to today's news!

Pretty people in pretty movie looking pretty

Between 1979 and 2005, Terrence Malick released 2 films he directed into theaters. He's about to release 3 in the next 18 months. The first, Tree of Life promises to be another intellectual, overly-drawn-out drama that supposedly "covers the entirety of human existence." It has a companion piece of some kind that is going to be shown in IMAX, but the details of that are more convoluted than the narrative of Thin Red Line. The other narrative film he's releasing is a romance that finished filming already, so we ARE in fact going to get it. Oh, and it looks like this:

Also starring Javier Bardem, this totally secret romantic endeavor looks gorgeous, right? I mean, slap the words Nicholas Sparks on there and you're in trouble, but so long as the romance is being provided by an artist and not a crapmaster who applies disease A and contrived character B to get generically titled romance C ("The Shooting Star" by Nicholas Sparks; it's about a girl who may spontaneously combust who falls for a boy in the coast guard...I made that up, but you see how easy it is). I'm excited at the thought of Malick doing something like this, and the picture only further stirs my fancy.

Nerds do nerd stuff, we reap the benefit

I was going to post the images that Slashfilm and others ran about this story, but the payoff is so damn small I'll just cut to the chase. Using incredible nerd detective skills that involve breaking down every frame of the admittedly bad-ass Super 8 teaser, the dork avengers of the Internet have determined there's a good chance we're getting a full trailer on 3/11/11. Cool. That took someone days and days to figure out. Pity them.

Banksy may just show up after all

For fans of things that are awesome, Banksy is the shit. Not only is the street artist/director of an Academy Award-nominated documentary (Exit Through the Gift Shop) totally awesome, he's totally secret about his identity. That's one of the mind-bending things about his aforementioned film, and one of the most frustrating things for the folks running the Oscars. Because NOBODY knows Banksy's real identity, how will anyone know if the person who steps up to win (presuming he does) is actually Banksy. There was talk that he wouldn't even attend due to the Academy's insistence that nobody be allowed onstage in a mask, but the president now admitted he's kinda-sorta totally cool with it if Banksy shows in a monkey mask or something.

So first, he has to win (which I doubt...because the Academy isn't that cool). Then he has to somehow get into the theater without letting anyone know who he is (you can't well sit in the audience with a mask on...can you?). Then he has to get on stage, all of which the president of the Academy says is somewhat possible. My prediction is this won't happen due to logistics and whatnot, but count me among the millions who are praying that it does. It's about the only thing that can save a night dedicated to a moderately accurate, polite-but-boring best picture winner that we'll all forget about by this time next year.

There are a few other minor notes, like someone buying the rights to "Robots vs Zombies," a comic book about...yeah, I know, you get it. But nothing feels important enough to waste our time with. So I'll leave you with a reminder to prepare yourself for Oscar madness in a few days by following me on Twitter now!


entered on 02/23/11 at 11:00 PM | read comments »


Cutting Room for February 23

  • It’s official, Baz Luhrmann’s impending favor to high school English students (aka, a new remake of The Great Gatsby) will be shot in 3D. You know, because social allegories are more wicked awesome when things fly at your head. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan are rumored to star, so at least the faces flying at your face will be pretty faces.

  • GQ has more than just delicious photos of celebrity abdomens, as proven by a particularly insightful column from former Entertainment Weekly executive editor Mark Harris. Titled “The Day the Movies Died,” it’s every bit the optimistic, happy-go-lucky romp you’d imagine. It’s the story of how Hollywood, a place once packed with artists, went wrong … something that the record-breaking 27 sequels that will arrive in 2011 seems to back up. It’s so fascinating while depressing, I’m surprised Iñárritu didn’t direct it.

  • If you haven’t seen the internet trailer for the video game Dead Island, check that business out below, yo!

    Arguably the finest zombie-related material since Shaun “got some red on him,” this Memento-meets-Romero preview is honestly breathtaking. The game may suck, but the trailer has already resulted in a mini-bidding war for the rights to make this a full flick. It may not sustain itself for a full 2 hours, but for 2 minutes, it’s perfect.

  • As if you needed another reason to lust after the impending release of The Muppets, now comes word that a new Toy Story short will appear in front of it. This means we’ll go Gonzo for Buzz before catching our Gonzo Buzz. Pure joy.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Check out Ryan on the radio on CD 105.9 (Fridays at around 7:30 a.m.), on his blog at thereader.com/film/C19 and on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).


entered on 02/22/11 at 11:40 PM | read comments »


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The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


Guardians of the Galaxy

A gleeful space opera that is as visually stunning as it is hilarious.

GRADE
A


Fall? Oh, me!

I’ve reviewed movies professionally for more than a dozen years. The few weeks immediately surrounding the end of summer has...

more »


Bro-man Holiday

First things first: The Trip to Italy, the sequel to 2010’s surprise hit The Trip, may be the whitest movie ever made....

more »


Bleak and White

Celebrated narcissist and Freddy Krueger look-a-like Frank Miller gives the women he writes a plethora of career choices....

more »


Take It Back

Fail gloriously, if you must fail. Go down swinging for the fences, punchdrunk and confident you’re making something truly...

more »


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