Screen Junkies » the academy awards Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:32:16 +0000 en hourly 1 ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Gets Its Oscar Nomination Pulled Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:59:39 +0000 Wookie Johnson Does Jay-Z really need another award nomination?

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That Oscar nominee that had everybody like, whoa, hey, what?, is no longer an Oscar nominee. Alone Yet Not Alone, the small faith-based film that ran in theaters for 21 days last fall, turned a lot of heads when its title track received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. The mystery was cleared up when it was revealed that the song’s composer Bruce Broughton emailed members of the Academy asking that they consider the song when making their nominations. The problem here, in the eyes of the Academy, is that Broughton is a former Academy governor and they feel that position “creates the appearance of an unfair advantage.”

Unfair advantage? Then why allow him to submit in the first place? I think the Academy’s issue is that Alone Yet Not Alone elicited votes without having to plaster a roundabout advertisement for the Oscars on billboards or in trade magazines. Nor does it help promote the telecast because by edging out famous musicians like Jay-Z and Lana Del Ray, there’s no commitment by those celebrities to attend or perform on the show. It’s all about ratings and good publicity. Which the Academy definitely cost themselves by rescinding this nomination. There is their worse move since hiring Brett Ratner. (EW)

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Nom Nom Nom: Academy Award Nominees 2013 Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:09:32 +0000 Wookie Johnson Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis is this year's Uggie

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This morning Seth MacFarlane woke up at the crack of dawn to announce this year’s Academy Award nominees. Fighting the strong urge to sing about the carpet matching the drapes, he and Emma Stone listed the films, actors, and directors who are up for the Oscar on February 24th.

Here’s hoping 6-year old Quvenzhané Wallis wins for Beasts of the Southern Wild. She’s this year’s Uggie.

Of course, all eyes will be on Seth MacFarlane as he takes the seemingly thankless job of show host. It will be his greatest test as he once again resists the urge to sing about the carpet matching the drapes as he introduces Jessica Chastain or Helen Mirren.

Here are this year’s nominees.

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Django Unchained

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Best Actress
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Amy Adams, The Master

Best Original Song
“Before My Time,” Chasing Ice
“Pi’s Lullaby,” Life of Pi
“Suddenly,” Les Miserables
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend,” Ted
Skyfall,” Skyfall

Best Animated Feature Film
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Foreign Language Film
Austria: Amour
Chile: No
Canada: War Witch
Denmark: A Royal Affair
Norway: Kontiki

Best Director
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Original Screenplay
John Gatins, Flight
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Michael Haneke, Amour
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Best Adapted Screenplay
Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Chris Terrio, Argo
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
David Magee, Life of Pi

Best Cinematography
Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Roger Deakins, Skyfall

Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado, Les Misérables
Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka, Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman

Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers,
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Documentary Short
“Inocente,” Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
“Kings Point,” Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
“Mondays at Racine,” Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
“Open Heart,” Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
“Redemption,” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

Film Editing
William Goldenberg, Argo
Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
Michael Kahn, Lincoln
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty

Makeup and Hairstyling
Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel, Hitcock
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, Les Miserables

Best Original Score
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
John Williams, Lincoln
Thomas Newman, Skyfall

Best Production Design
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, Anna Karenina
Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent and Simon Bright, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Eve Stewart and Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Miserables
David Gropman and Anna Pinnock, Life of Pi
Rick Carter and Jim Erickson, Lincoln

Best Animated Short
“Adam and Dog,” Minkyu Lee
“Fresh Guacamole,” PES
“Head over Heels,” Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
“Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare,’” David Silverman
“Paperman,” John Kahrs

Best Live Action Short
“Asad,” Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
“Buzkashi Boys,” Sam French and Ariel Nasr
“Curfew,” Shawn Christensen
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
“Henry,” Yan England

Best Sound Editing
Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, Argo
Unchained Wylie Stateman, Django Unchained
Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton, Life of Pi
Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, Skyfall
Paul N.J. Ottosson, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Sound Mixing
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia, Argo
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes, Les Misérables
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin, Life of Pi
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins, Lincoln
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson, Skyfall

Best Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick, Marvel’s The Avengers
Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill, Prometheus
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson, Snow White and the Huntsman

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Meryl Streep Wins Third Oscar For ‘The Iron Lady’ Mon, 27 Feb 2012 04:38:22 +0000 Jame Gumb Good for her.

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Meryl Streep has won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Actress. Her role as Margaret Thatcher beat out Glen Close, Viola Davis, Mara Rooney, and Michelle Williams.

In her speech, Streep, who appeared to be wearing a gaudy curtain, said that she could almost hear half of America groaning about her victory. I find that hard to believe. After three hours watching Billy Crystal, I imagine America was all groaned out.

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Jean Dujardin Wins Best Actor Mon, 27 Feb 2012 04:26:58 +0000 Jame Gumb Damn, really?

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Well I’ll be damned. Jean Dujardin has won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Actor. His performance in The Artist beat out Demian Bichir, George Clooney, Gary Oldman, and Brad Pitt. The fact that his role was almost entirely without dialogue makes the win even more impressive, or perhaps more frustrating if you weren’t a fan. Either way, I chalk the win up to Uggie‘s performance rather than Dujardin’s. I love that god damn dog.

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Michel Hazanavicius Wins Best Director Oscar For ‘The Artist’ Mon, 27 Feb 2012 03:59:34 +0000 Wookie Johnson A major score for mimes everywhere.

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With the requisite Martin Scorsese butt-kissing out of the way, the Academy is now available to finally honor The Artist. Director Michel Hazanavicius secured the best directing award for bringing back to life the whimsy and scope of classic silent movies. Haters gonna hate so let’s hear it if you disagree with this decision on part of the Academy. But bear in mind, this is the man who coaxed an amazing and moving performance (both emotional and physical) from his star.

I refer naturally to Uggie.

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Christopher Plummer Is The Winner Of The 2012 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Mon, 27 Feb 2012 03:04:23 +0000 Wookie Johnson Adjust your Oscars pool accordingly.

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Congratulations to Christopher Plummer for his Best Supporting Actor Oscar win. At the age of 82, he’s the oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award whereas Nick Nolte is the oldest-looking actor to ever be nominated. It’s called water, Nick. Drink it.

Plummer wins not for his impressive mustache, but for his role as Max von Sydow Ian McKellan a gay man who comes out to his adult son in Mike Mills’ Beginners.

Condolences to his fellow nominees, especially the red-faced Nick Nolte. He is clearly either angry, sad, embarrassed, or Nick Nolte.

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Octavia Spencer Is The Winner Of The 2012 Best Supporting Actress Oscar Mon, 27 Feb 2012 02:21:27 +0000 Wookie Johnson Her own maid must be so proud.

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No need to check Albert Nobb’s Janet McTeer for a penis. In the end it was The Help’s Octavia Spencer who won the 2012 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She’s going to need a bigger mantle for this and the other ten awards she won for her role as a maid who shares her stories with a journalist writing about racism in the South.

This is her first Academy Award. And it’s about time! She was robbed for her work in Halloween II and something called Herpes Boy.

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7 Oscar Categories That Should Exist (And Who Would Win Them) Fri, 24 Feb 2012 21:00:53 +0000 Jared Jones The fact that Hobo with a Shotgun isn't going to win a single award is a god damn travesty.

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The Academy Awards have been running strong for 84 years now, and to put it nicely, they are in need of a few renovations. The fact that Billy Crystal will be hosting for the tenth time this year only furthers this theory. That’s not a knock on the ceremony, but simply an observation. The fact is, all things must change with the times; the Constitution did it, The Beatles did it, and Steve Jobs’ ghost forces us to do it by releasing a new goddamn Iproduct every goddamn month. The Oscars need a fresh breath of life, and what better way to mix things up then to add a few new categories? We’ve managed to do just that, and even gone as far as to predict who will win each, because we really are that damn good.

Best Performance by an Inanimate Object

The book from The Help
Jonah Hill in Moneyball
The pills that killed Gwyneth Paltrow in Country Strong
The ring in Green Lantern
Channing Tatum in The Eagle

Winner: As was the case for his Best Supporting Actor “worthy” role in Moneyball, there would be a public backlash for Jonah Hill’s nomination in this category. Movie going audiences will claim that, just because Hill was fat to the point of immobility in the film does not qualify him as an inanimate object. In the end, it will be a pointless argument, as the gold statue will be given to Channing Tatum for his portrayal of the chariot in The Eagle. The above photo will be snapped of Tatum during his acceptance speech, which will consist mainly of Chewbacca-esque grunts and quotes from Old School.

Best Actor in the Worst Movie a.k.a The Michael Madsen Award

Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached
Sir Anthony Hopkins in The Rite
Tom Hanks in Larry Crowne
Aaron Eckhart in Battle: Los Angeles
Jim Carrey in Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Winner: In a shocking twist, the award will be deemed a tie between the entire cast of New Year’s Eve with the exception of Ashton Kutcher. Sarah Jessica Parker will accept the award on behalf of the cast, at which point the viewing audiences across the nation will erupt into fits of rage and confusion as to why the presenters just allowed Warhorse to waltz off with an undeserved Oscar.

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10 Celebs Who Will Be Snubbed By The Oscar Death Montage Fri, 24 Feb 2012 18:45:35 +0000 Wookie Johnson Gone and forgotten...

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This Sunday during the Oscars telecast, the Academy will no doubt pay tribute to screen legends Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Falk, Sidney Lumet, and Pete Poselthwait in their annual celebrity death montage. Inevitably, someone is always unfairly left off the list, which is not cool. In the past, stars like Corey Haim, Peter Graves, Farrah Fawcett, and Brad Renfro have been snubbed.

No one is certain of the requirements a performer needs to meet in honor to have thier rightful sip poured out on Hollywood’s biggest night. The criteria seems to lean toward actors and actresses who are likely to be discussed at a boring dinner party. Below are a list of talented actors, actresses, and performers who deserve their nods on the big night. Mostly likely they will be passed over for no good reason.

Patrice O’Neal

Though much more well-known in the field of stand up comedy, Patrice O’Neal also appeared in movies from time to time. Films like Furry Vengeance, In the Cut, Scary Movie 4, Head of State, and The 25th Hour were his most notable, not to mention his several television roles. It’s likely the Academy will leave him off the In Memoriam list due to the shakey quality of his films. And also because they’re dicks like that.

Heavy D

Heavy D’s chances of making the Oscars death montage are a toss up. A pioneer in hip-hop music, his crossover to the world of acting saw him star in recurring roles on shows like Living Single and Boston Public. For film, he appeared The Cider House Rules, Life, Step Up, and Tower Heist. He’s well-known enough to make the list, but maybe slightly too hip for inclusion. Whether he makes the list or not, we’ll all be bummed when reminded of his passing.

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9 Things You Should Watch Instead Of The Oscars Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:11:42 +0000 Wookie Johnson Zombies vs Meaningless Award Show

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Not everyone enjoys the Oscars as much as the Oscars themselves do. So, it would make sense that some alternative programming be set up for those who don’t have time for Billy Crystal’s tired song and dance routine. Most channels have shown a fear of broadcasting any first-run programming against the awards ceremony, but there are a few that are forging ahead with either fresh, new episodes or movies that are more fun to watch than a celebrity walking off the wrong side of the stage.

And so, if you’re not a fan of the Oscars or award shows in general, or, if you’re not insane, here are your best viewing options this Sunday night.

Celebrity ApprenticeNBC @ 9PM EST/PST

Would you prefer to watch Billy Crystal make jokes about Jack Nicholson, or would you rather watch Teresa Giudice, Arsenio Hall, and Lou Ferrigno put on a medievial-themed show for an audience? What if I told you it lead to bodily harm? Sign me up for the ren faire with the has-beens. It’s our best bet for seeing Dee Snider bite the head off a goat.

The Amazing Race 20 – CBS @ 8PM EST/PST

This season features hot chicks, party clowns, and federal agents all competing against one another. That sounds far more entertaining than watching Cirque du Soleil dangle from trapezes while scenes from A Better Life are projected onto them. Especially if one of the clowns gets ahold of one of the federal agents’ gun.

The Walking Dead- AMC @ 9PM EST/PST

I’ve gotta admit that the second half of season two is off to an okayish start. And when talking about The Walking Dead, “okayish” is pretty damn good. This week, tensions between Rick and Shane grow to a head. Which leads to a headbutt. And I’m assuming that leads to an all-out brawl. The way the plot has been speeding along, this could be the last we see of Shane. At least until he rises from the dead. Even so, something could happen on this show. That’s rare! Are you really willing to miss that?

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Plan Your Pee Breaks Now: 7 Boring 2012 Oscar Moments To Avoid Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:13:43 +0000 Wookie Johnson It's important to stretch your legs.

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May as well face it now. Sunday’s presentation of the Academy Awards will not live up to your expectations. Every year, the Monday morning following the show is ruled by unsatisfied viewers picking it apart and pointing out all the faults. It’s terrible… that we wait that long. Why not pick the show apart in advance? We already know the parts that are boring, and you’re just torturing yourself by sitting through them.

So, here’s our handy guide to when you can leave the couch this Sunday without missing anything that may interest you. If you’re going to waste your time, you might as well waste it doing something awesome.

The Red Carpet

Unless you’re hungover or a live-blogger (pretty much go hand-in-hand) there’s no reason to watch the Oscars red carpet pre-show. It’s never interesting and who cares who is wearing whom? We’re not our mothers, wives, or girlfriends so there’s no usable information to be gleaned from this. At best we’ll be able to get a look at an A-list actress looking pretty hot. But that’s only good if you’re in the comfort of your own home. It’s generally frowned upon to fap openly at Oscar parties which isn’t fair considering Hollywood will be tossing itself off the entire night.

Cirque du Soleil

It seems like every year, producers of the show try to shoehorn feats of gymnastic bendiness into the already too long award show. I see no benefit to having Cirque du Soleil there on Oscar night. Watching people with their genitalia smooshed uncomfortably into zebra-striped unitards twist while they around upside down doesn’t help me understand The Help on any deeper level. If the show is aiming to be entertaining, they should hire a real circus. One with elephants and clowns who spray winners with seltzer if their acceptance speeches go long.

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12 Potential Sponsors For The “Kodak” Theater Mon, 06 Feb 2012 17:04:29 +0000 Wookie Johnson Brett Ratner need not apply.

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Kodak’s announcement that they are as broke as a joke has caused a bit of a kink in this year’s presentation of The Academy Awards. The Kodak Theater and the Oscars go hand in hand, but now news that Kodak wants their name removed from the building puts the Academy in a weird place.

Provided the Academy doesn’t pull up and move to another location, Kodak’s exit opens the building to another sponsor, and the way we see it, here are 12 pretty solid contenders.

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7 Possible Locations For The Academy Awards Mon, 06 Feb 2012 15:31:12 +0000 Penn Collins Live from world famous Oakland, CA...

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Big news for the Oscars on the cusp of the 84th Academy Awards. Not only is Kodak, in the face of bankruptcy, looking to pull their name from the Oscars’ theater, but the Academy is currently perusing other locations for a possible venue switch.

Though details of the agreement between the Academy and Kodak Theater owner CIM aren’t public, it’s been leaked that there is an opt-out clause that can be exercised by the Academy that allows them to set up shop elsewhere.

The front-runner right now is the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles in the L.A. Live complex adjacent to Staples Center. The Emmy’s take place there, and it’s slightly newer than the Kodak Theater. BORING. If you’re going to have the Oscars in L.A., have them in Hollywood. Few people know that Hollywood is mostly suit outlets and weird stores that sell bongs and ninja swords. If the Oscars leave town, then Hollywood will ONLY consist of suit outlets and ninja sword/bong stores.

That said, we need to find some suitable venues to host the Oscars. I don’t really think they should leave Hollywood, but if they do, I want it to be on my terms. Who am I to dictate such things? I’m a guy with a website, godammit.

Here are my suggestions.

Oakland Coliseum

The Oscars are perhaps the most exclusive awards show (or possibly even event) in America. That’s a very nice designation to have, by isn’t it time to get more egalitarian with the production and allow more movie fans to attend? Like, 77,000 more? If you think it’s going to be difficult to sell all those tickets, there’s a built-in market: Oakland Raiders season ticket holders. Get them on board, and you’ll have no problem filling the space. Plus, the ceremony is still in California, so wrangling up the stars should be no problem at all.

And you know how critics are always saying the Oscars telecast doesn’t feature enough convicted felons in the audience? The participation of Oakland Raiders fans will silence them as well.

This is my first choice.

A Giant Chuck. E. Cheese Built Just For The Oscars

The nice thing about this option (besides the fact that it has the Oscars taking place in a sweet Chuck E. Cheese) is that the sponsorship convention is already built in. The lauded Oscars and a funtime pizza parlor whose fictional proprietor is a giant anthropomorphic rat would experience obvious synergies. Wouldn’t you like to see Helen Mirren do her backstage press conference in a ball pit? If one of Sean Penn’s painfully preachy speeches goes on too long, wouldn’t it be nice to see him played off by this band instead of some anonymous symphony?:

The answer is yes.

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Your 2012 Academy Award Nominees Tue, 24 Jan 2012 13:55:00 +0000 Wookie Johnson It's an honor just to copy and paste the nominations...

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The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, Tom Sherak, from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, announced the nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards this morning. The former nominee reached into a large glass bowl and removed the names of males and females for each category. A pretty wacky mix of nominees this year with Andy Serkis and Uggie being completely snubbed. I wouldn’t be surprised of angry dogs and apes are flooding Hollywood Boulevard right this minute.

The nominees are:

The Artist
War Horse
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Berenice Bejo
Jessica Chastain
Melissa McCarthy
Janet McTeer
Octavia Spencer

The Artist
Margin Call
Midnight in Paris
A Separation

The Descendants
The Ides of March
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

A Separation
In Darkness
Monsieur Lahzar

Hell and Back Again
If A Tree Falls
Paradise Lost 3


The Artist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

The Adventures of Tintin
The Artist
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
War Horse

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets
“Real in Rio” from Rio

The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

The Artist
Jane Eyre

Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Iron Lady

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Transformers: Dark of the Moon
War Horse  

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

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Brian Grazer Accepts Brett Ratner’s Oscars Sloppy Seconds Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:58:57 +0000 Wookie Johnson They're keeping it in the 'Tower Heist' family.

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Proving he’s no opponent to rehearsal, Brian Grazer has stepped into the shoes left empty by Brett Ratner’s exit as producer of the Oscars. Please clean those shoes thoroughly first.

The Academy wasted no time in announcing a replacement this week after Ratner stepped down when the media caught wind of his recent controversial statements. However, the choice seems suspect. Grazer did after all produce Tower Heist, the film that’s receiving heavy promotion from the Academy Awards. However, I’d recommend moving away from Tower Heist as it’s clearly cursed. It opened poorly at the box office. Brett Ratner was outed as a douche who masturbates while eating finger foods, star Eddie Murphy stepped down as Oscars host, and Courthouse Guard actor Heavy D collapsed and died this week. Did Tower Heist run over a gypsy out by the fairgrounds?

I find it ironic that Ratner was dismissed after stating, “Rehearsal is for fags,” yet Grazer experienced a similar (if not more harsh) backlash when his film The Dilemma stated that “electric cars are gay.” You can’t tell me that there are no electric cars in The Academy. (Deadline)

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Eight Other People Who Would Have Made Great Oscar Hosts 15 Years Ago Thu, 08 Sep 2011 23:30:45 +0000 Esteban 1996 would love these hosts!

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On Tuesday it was officially announced that Eddie Murphy will host the 2012 Academy Awards. Obviously he will share co-hosting duties with his sister and uncle, both of whom will be played by Eddie in a fat suit.

This announcement ended six months of speculation that began immediately after last year’s abysmal effort by Anne “What The Hell Is Comedic Timing?” Hathaway and James “Maybe I Should Just Pick One Or Two Hobbies And Stick With Them” Franco.

Of course, most observers figured the Academy would go with someone familiar and safe (and named Billy Crystal) this time around. However, it turns out that the producer of the 2012 telecast, Brett Ratner, was looking for someone a little less “safe” and a little more, I don’t know, starring in a film he directed that is being released this November. So they went with Eddie Murphy even though he is clearly past his comedic prime, having appeared in precisely two good films since the turn of the millennium.

Now, as evidenced by their attempt to be hip and connect with the youngsters last year, the Academy generally tries to choose a host who is at least somewhat commercially relevant. So this decision struck me as a little strange. If Murphy can’t entertain people with his movies, which last about 90 minutes, how the hell is he going to keep 300 million people glued to the tube for four and a half hours this February? Sure, Eddie is a comedy legend, and he would have been a fantastic host back in 1993. But have you seen Meet Dave?

That being said, I don’t particularly enjoy going against the grain. In fact, I love the establishment. If “the man” writes something on the wall, I read it and don’t ask questions. So if this “picking Oscar hosts who were really awesome 15 years ago” thing is the direction the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wishes to go, that’s cool. I even have a few suggestions for other has-been Hollywood types the Academy might want to keep in mind for the future. You’re welcome, guys.

Chevy Chase

In his prime, Chevy Chase was a physical comedy genius and a true master of the dry one-liner. He rose to stardom as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, then parlayed that notoriety into a successful movie career, making classic comedic turns in such films as Caddyshack, Vacation, Fletch, ¡Three Amigos! and, of course, Christmas Vacation. Chevy was so funny in the 70s and 80s that he actually did host the Oscars back then. Twice. And he was great. He opened the 1987 telecast with the classic greeting, “Good evening, Hollywood phonies!”

Sadly, that was one of the last funny things Chevy Chase did for about 20 years. For some reason, Chevy just stopped being funny. Maybe all those comedic pratfalls just took a toll on his body. Or maybe all the drugs he took to numb the pain of those pratfalls took a toll on his brain. But one way or another, Chevy lost it. Luckily, in the last two years he’s been able to regain some of his old form in the NBC sitcom Community, so he might be the perfect guy to follow Eddie Murphy in 2013.

Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd was probably never quite as brilliant as contemporaries Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, or Steve Martin, but he had some pretty great moments. The unscrupulous toy company executive on SNL selling his “Bag O’ Glass”? Hilarious. Blues Brothers? Classic. Trading Places with co-star Eddie Murphy? Pretty funny. Ghostbusters? Perfect. But all good things come to an end, and I’ve got one word for you that pretty much sums up the man’s current ability: Crossroads. So yeah, these days old Danny boy would be wise to just focus on hocking his wine and liquor products and leave the comedy to others. Which means he’s just the type of guy the Academy is looking for.

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5 People Who Deserve An Honorary Oscar More Than Oprah Winfrey Thu, 04 Aug 2011 23:55:30 +0000 Jame Gumb In protest of Oprah's honorary Oscar, here are five people who should have received it instead.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to bestow a very special award on a very special lady: Ms. Oprah Winfrey. Despite the fact that she hasn’t appeared in a film since 1998 and only has three movie appearances to her name, the now-retried talk-show queen will receive an honorary Oscar. While that might be inspiring to millions of overweight housewives who refuse to watch the Oscars unless Billy Crystal is hosting, it’s a slap in the face to anyone who takes cinema half-way seriously. This is especially true when considering the numerous actors and actresses who have been overlooked throughout the years, and have never been given an honorary award to make up for it.

So, in protest of Oprah‘s honorary Oscar, here are five people who should have received it instead.

Peter Lorre

With a career spanning over three decades, Peter Lorre starred in some of the 20th century’s most memorable films. From M to Casablanca, the actor’s strange appearance and unique voice endeared him to audiences despite the fact that many of his characters were less than sympathetic. But at the end of the day, he died without an Oscar to his name while in a morphine induced haze. When Oprah dies, she’ll do so with an Oscar in hand, and the only haze she’ll see will be surrounding the Santa Ynez Mountains near her beautiful Monticito home.

Paul Schrader

Whil Paul Schrader is a well respected director in his own right, he is perhaps best known as the writer behind such classic Martin Scorsese films as Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. That’s right, the man behind Raging Bull and Taxi Driver doesn’t have an Oscar, but a raging cow who hasn’t had to ride in a Taxi since 1982 does. God, I hope some day a real rain comes and washes all this scum.

Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone is the director most associated with the Spaghetti Western. This is a result of his renowned Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few Dollars More; and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), films that helped make Clint Eastwood a household name. Yet despite the fact that Leone contributed so much to the world of cinema, he has no Oscar to show for it. Yet Oprah, who is best known for screaming “my vajayjay is paining” on national television does. Classy.

Glenn Close

If Glenn Close’s only role had been as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction, that alone would have made her worthy of an honorary Oscar. But the fact that she’s had a spectacular career spanning decades (along with the fact the the Academy has overlooked her all these years) should all but assure her of the award. But not this year. This year, they’re giving it to the woman who gave us Dr. Phil.

Rob Schneider

Yeah, that Rob Schneider. His movies are awful, he can’t act, and he has no business winning a real Oscar, much less an honorary one. But at the end of the day, he’s somewhat likable, and at least he’s involved in the film industry. And to top it off, if you watch Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo wasted, you might actually enjoy it, which is more than can be said of Oprah.

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2011 Oscars Live Blog Mon, 28 Feb 2011 00:15:14 +0000 Col. Longshanks As is tradition (so what if it's only the second year?), we'll be live blogging the crap out of the 2011 Academy Awards.

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As is tradition (so what if it’s only the second year?), we’ll be live blogging the crap out of the 2011 Academy Awards. Land your eyeballs right on this page February 27 starting at 4:30PM PST. I’m still trying to book James Franco as a guest, but the guy’s working on a lot of stuff, including hosting the damn show with Catwoman.

Download your official SJ ballot HERE.

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Road To The Oscars: Rest Of The Nominees Wed, 23 Feb 2011 19:40:52 +0000 Ronnie Pudding Let us wind down our Oscar coverage and pick our favorites for the lesser-cared-about categories so we can turn our attention to more important matters, such as which Oscar gowns to dress our cats in on The Big Night.

The post Road To The Oscars: Rest Of The Nominees appeared first on Screen Junkies.


The 83rd Academy Awards are less than a week away and the energy in the air is electric. Possibly due to the shoddy wiring job I did when stealing my neighbor’s cable, or possibly due to that airborne infectious disease known as Oscar Fever. Although superficially similar to Bieber Fever, the ailment afflicts not just 12-year-old girls and “To Catch a Predator” alum but pretty much everyone with a pulse including you, dear reader. So now now let us wind down our Oscar coverage and pick our favorites for the lesser-cared-about categories so we can turn our attention to more important matters, such as which Oscar gowns to dress our cats in. If you need me on February 27th, I and Muffin and Skittle Paws and Mister Sniffles will be front and center outside the Kodak Theater, restraining orders be damned!

Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in “The Fighter”

John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”

Jeremy Renner in “The Town”

Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”

Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

This one’s a no-brainer: Batman Bateman owns the Oscar hype for his portrayal of junkie/ex-con/former boxer Dicky Ward and he’s a sure thing to take the Shiny Gold Dude. Granted all Christian Bale had to do to prepare for the role was spend fifteen minutes in the Fenway Park cheap seats – and he’s gained some unwanted notoriety for his recent scream-a-thons with hapless lighting directors and the woman who birthed him – but Hollywood seems willing to forgive Bale his eccentricities so long as he keeps the Jews out of it and keeps on delivering outstanding performances like he did in The Fighter. Give that man an Oscar!

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams in “The Fighter”

Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”

Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”

Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”

Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

While Batman Bateman’s co-star, Melissa Leo, has taken several lesser awards for her turn in The Fighter, I predict the Academy will follow the precedence of Oscarses past by giving the Gilded Nude Man to this year’s breakout ingénue, Hailee Steinfeld. I don’t know if anyone was paying attention but Steinfeld’s performance was arguably the best of the year and in this nude man’s opinion, a more nuanced and mature display of thespianism than Best Actress shoo-in Natalie Portman’s. My only gripe is that she’s been mis-categorized. Best Supporting Actress? Who was she supporting, exactly? I love Jeff Bridges, but his Rooster Cogburn was essentially The Dude in an eye patch. And more significantly, Rooster was not the central character of True Grit. Much like our love, it would be a crime for Steinfeld’s performance to go ignored. Give that not-yet-legal lass an Oscar!

Animated Feature Film

“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois

“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet

“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

While death and taxes can be avoided thanks to a good accountant and/or a benevolent wizard (Haargoth the Bearded has been filing my 1040 for ages eternal), the one sure thing in life is that if Pixar releases a film, it will win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. But even if this weren’t a fact of life as sure as gravity, Toy Story 3 is not only one of Pixar’s best but — it could be argued — 2010’s best film regardless of whether it contains cartoony men. Give those anthropomorphized playthings an Oscar!

Art Direction

“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan

Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat

“The King’s Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr

“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

There’s been a lot of talk about The Social Network being the defining film of our epoch, seeing as it’s about the internet and shit. And while I’d agree that The Social Network was a very good film, I think folks should hold off on etching its historical significance on stone tablets. Movies this of-the-now rarely have much of a shelf life. For example, can you watch Singles or Reality Bites without cringing? Well those films were considered defining films of their epoch, too, believe it or not. When the dust settles, I believe Inception will be the film folks are still talking about, once Facebook is a relic as dated as a single of the Spin Doctors’ “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” I know as much about art direction as I do about the location of my girlfriend’s supposed “G-Spot”, but Inception has to win something, right? Give that dream-within-a-dreamy film an Oscar!


“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique

“Inception” Wally Pfister

“The King’s Speech” Danny Cohen

“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth

“True Grit” Roger Deakins

There was a lot of eye candy at the multiplex this year, and I’m not just referring to Ramona, the busty ticket girl at the Reseda AMC 12. Black Swan, The Social Network and especially Inception were prettier to look at than Conan the Barbarian black light poster, but I believe the Cohen Bros’ go-to DP Roger Deakins will take the Glimmering Bald Fellow for his gorgeous rendering of the old-timey west. Give that man an Oscar!

Costume Design

“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood

“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi

“The King’s Speech” Jenny Beavan

“The Tempest” Sandy Powell

“True Grit” Mary Zophres

I didn’t see Alice in Wonderland; if I have to suffer through that “effete eccentric” character Johnny Depp phones in for gobs of cash yet again he might as well be wearing something piratey. However I also don’t give a shit about costume design, so I figure Alice in Wonderland is as good a choice as any.  Looked good on the posters anyway, and unlike the historical dramas, Colleen Atwood had to more or less draw from the well of her imagination. So what the hell, give her an Oscar.

Documentary (Feature)

“Exit Through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz

“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Pretty sure I’m not alone in hoping Banksy wins just to see how he culture-jams the Oscars. Maybe he’ll hire a paraplegic midget with Tourette’s to accept the award in his stead. Or maybe this will be the moment he finally sells out and starts doing Sprite ads. I’d be happy to witness either. Give that mystery man an Oscar!

Documentary (Short Subject)

“Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein

“Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block

“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger

“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

I haven’t seen the film (or any of the other shorts for that matter), but I do have the samely-titled Rage Against the Machine song to thank for my short-lived dreadlocks-and-Che-shirt period. Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me! Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me! Give Jed Rothstein a fucking Oscar…. mothafucka!

Film Editing

“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum

“The Fighter” Pamela Martin

“The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar

“127 Hours” Jon Harris

“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Though well directed and chock full of (almost too) clever dialog, The Social Network could’ve easily turned into a tedious courtroom drama had it not been for the brilliant editing. In fact I’ll go so far as saying that the editing might’ve been the most important component of the film. Also, one of the credited editors is named Angus, and you just don’t fuck with dudes named Angus (never mind one whose surname is an immovable barrier). Give Angus Wall an Oscar before he goes all soccer hooligan on us!

Foreign Language Film

Biutiful” Mexico

“Dogtooth” Greece

“In a Better World” Denmark

“Incendies” Canada

“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

You can imagine my surprise when I found out that all of the above-mentioned films are not in English but some incomprehensible gobbledygook. Yeah, I know the category’s called “foreign language film” but I assumed that meant stuff with an accent, like The King’s Speech. So I’m going to have to give it to Biutiful because Javier Bardem’s in it and I at least know who he is, even if I couldn’t understand a friggin’ word he was saying.


“Barney’s Version” Adrien Morot

“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng

“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

I like that this category only has three nominees, because it makes it a lot easier for me to guess. I don’t know much about movie makeup, other than that makeup girls tend to be a little, well, trampy, and that’s always a good thing, right? So yeah, The Wolfman.

Music (Original Score)

“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell

“Inception” Hans Zimmer

“The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat

“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman

“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

I’m probably dating myself (or at least sleeping with myself) by saying this, but back in my day Trent Reznor was the black-bedecked, Prince-Valiant-quaffed poster boy for suburban goth angst. He used to be the guy with the suicide hotline on speed-dial; now he looks he jumped out of a PX-90 infomercial to tell us how to maximize our gains but visualizing our goals… and also that he wants to fuck us like an animal. Personally, I preferred Alexandre Desplat’s score – I’m a sucker for them fiddles! — but the novelty of Reznor and Atticus Ross’ bleeps-n-bloops will more likely be favored by Academy voters. Give ‘em an Oscar!

Music (Original Song)

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey

“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater

“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong

“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ Music and Lyric by Randy Newman


Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects

I’m going to give it to Inception for the above-mentioned categories. It’s the Academy’s way of mitigating the Christopher Nolan Best Director snub by acknowledging that even if it wasn’t the “best directed” film of the year, it was at least the most impressive technical spectacle.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy

“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin

“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich

“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

“Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Aaron Sorkin is heavily favored, not only because The Social Network’s blitzkrieg of postmodern dialog is one of the film’s most noticeable traits, but because it’s the one category where Academy voters can safely favor it over The King’s Speech. Give him an Oscar! And some cocaine! Sorkin looooves the yayo!

Writing (Original Screenplay)

“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh

“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson

“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan

“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg

“The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

The King’s Speech is shaping up to be this year’s Oscar darling, so I don’t see it going any other way when it comes to awarding the Glittering “O” for best original screenplay. Hey David Seidler — come on up here, pal! Guess what I’ve got for you? A Nutty Buddy? Nooo. Although I could actually go for a delicious Nutty Buddy right now, this gold-hewed, slightly phallic statuette I have in my hand is not a Nutty Buddy. Please do not try to eat it, David Seidler, because while it is indeed your “buddy” there is nothing nutty or even edible about it. It’s an Oscar, David!  A fucking O… Jesus. He ate it… the whole fucking thing.  Is there a paramedic in the house? Or does anyone have a stomach pump handy? Natalie Portman? Oh, that’s right, you’re pregnant, which means you’re binging and purging for two. I can’t believe he ate his fucking Oscar. That’s how it plays out in my mind, anyway. Until next year, Screen Junkies! Pudding out.

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Partner Plug: Oscar Cheat Sheet Ups Your Odds Tue, 22 Feb 2011 17:49:26 +0000 Col. Longshanks The dapper gents over at Made Man put together a slick infographic that'll help you win your 2011 Oscar pool.

The post Partner Plug: Oscar Cheat Sheet Ups Your Odds appeared first on Screen Junkies.

The dapper gents over at Made Man put together a slick infographic that’ll help you win your 2011 Oscar pool. Entertainment Weekly and Hollywood Reporter have their picks in there, but you should really be more concerned with whom Screen Junkies favors. Check it out HERE.

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Road To The Oscars: Best Director Showdown Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:25:58 +0000 Ronnie Pudding This week we shackle our Best Director contenders together by the ankles, slather them in honey, toss them in the bear cage with an 800 pound grizzly and a pair of bolt cutters to see who among them has the will to survive.

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This week we shackle our Best Director contenders together by the ankles, slather them in honey, toss them in the bear cage with an 800 pound grizzly and a pair of bolt cutters to see who among them has the will to survive. Wait… did I say directors or hobos? I meant hobos. But this article’s not about the bear game. No, this article’s about the Academy’s Best Director nominees, an impressive list containing some of American cinema’s most lauded directors. We have David “Fight Club” Fincher, Darren “ass-to-ass” Aronofsky, Joel and Ethan “that movie where Peter Stormare puts Steve Buscemi in a wood chipper” Cohen, David “O” Russell… and some British dude. I’d be honored to have any one of these talented white males helm my breakdancing videos (PopNLockNRonnie @ Youtube). But which of these white males deserves the Shiny Gold Dude?



PRO: David Fincher is one America’s most acclaimed directors, possessing a unique visual style that sets his work apart from his peers. He boasts an impressive track record — Alien 3 notwithstanding — and despite working primarily within the studio system has managed to make a career of exploring the darker realms of the human psyche. While The Social Network bears Fincher’s stamp it is also his most accessible and critically acclaimed film to date, a one-two punch that makes him an easy choice for Academy voters.

CON: Fincher’s renowned for tackling bile-black subject matter; he’s made films about serial killers, psychopaths, serial killers, serial killers and serial killers. And while The Social Network’s backstabbing billionaire protagonist does have his dark side, it’s not like he’s cutting off anyone’s head and mailing it to their sweetheart (that we know of, anyway). In comparison to Fincher’s back catalog, The Social Network might seem to some Academy voters like a bit of a trifle.


PRO: Tom Hooper is the least known of our nominees, but he does have buzz on his side. The King’s Speech received the lion’s share of nominations in the major categories and thanks to the slick campaigning of the baby-devourin brothers Weinstein, seems to be gaining momentum as Oscar night draws near. Hooper is also this year’s safest choice; his resume boasts period pieces and costume dramas but none of the dark, violent, controversial work that his fellow nominees are known for. He’s never cut off Gwyneth Paltrow’s head (unfortunately), shoved a double-dong up Jennifer Connelly’s pudding pipe (unfortunately), thrown anyone into a wood chipper (unfortunately) or tried to strangle George Clooney (ibid). He’s the Postum of best director nominees; a rich and tasty beverage that is inoffensively flavorful and harmlessly healthful.

CON: Tom who? Hooper is what my WoW clan members would call a “noob.” Also he’s British, and we should never forget how the British betrayed us during World War 2 by aligning themselves with the Nazis.  Or perhaps that was the Italians. Eh, British, Italian, same thing.



PRO: I know he wasn’t nominated, but if any director could find a way to win despite not being on the ballot, it’s Nolan. Perhaps I’m only dreaming he wasn’t nominated and when I wake up he’ll be on the Best Director short list. But then what if when I wake up I find out that’s just a dream, too? And what if that dream’s a dream within a dream within a dream, and it isn’t even MY dream but someone else’s dream? These are the kinds of things I think about when I’ve been huffing air freshener.

CON: After examining the list of past Best Director winners it seems that exactly 0% were people who weren’t officially nominated. Why I don’t know. I guess for the same reason that ZZ Top didn’t win the 1984 Presidential election as write-ins, in spite of spending months on the campaign trail in a roadster called Eliminator, telling every voting-age citizen in every one horse town about the virtues of sharp dressed men and knowing how to use legs when you have them. Or perhaps ZZ Top DID win the 1984 presidential election and I’m only dreaming they didn’t? Whoa. Just blew my own mind.



If it was the award for MOST directing, Aronofsky would be a shoo-in. Black Swan was a masterstroke of technique, but like a Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo it rings a little short on soul in spite of its technical impressiveness. Also, Aronofsky has been left in the shadow of his film’s leading yummy-mummy-to-be Natalie Portman, who is widely favored (and was my pick) to win Best Actress.  Darren Aronofsky’s a highly talented filmmaker and I have no doubt that he’ll eventually get his due, but I don’t foresee him taking the Shiny Gold Dude in 2011.


If this article was about the bear game, David O. Russell would be a shoo-in. If anyone on this list has it in him to tear out a bear’s throat with his teeth while his fellow directors bleed to death it’s Russell. Unfortunately this award’s being given for directing not bear-fighting. And while Russell has made some wonderful films – The Fighter included — I still don’t think the Academy voters will be willing to overlook his volatile disposition, especially given the fact that he essentially tried to murder Oscar darling George Clooney on the set of Three Kings. George Clooney’s farts have been nominated for Oscars. For the love of God, don’t fuck with George Clooney.


The Cohen Brothers are kind of like Pixar for grown-ups; all they have to do is make a film to get Oscar nominations. Which in a way works against them. When you’re prolific and talented enough to be on the ballot every year Academy voters are forced to be a bit more discerning. True Grit was an amazing film, but was it an amazing Cohen Brothers film? Back to the Pixar analogy, it wasn’t a Cars but it probably wasn’t a Toy Story either. I’d consider it a solid Monsters, Inc.

ADVANTAGE: David Fincher. Any of the nominees would be deserving and it’s still going to be a shoot-out. But while buzz is on Tom Hooper’s side I believe the Academy voters will honor the more experienced Fincher. Give that man a Shiny Gold Dude!

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Road To The Oscars: Best Actor Showdown Fri, 11 Feb 2011 20:04:38 +0000 Ronnie Pudding It's time for the men to grease up and battle it out for the shiny bald gold dude.

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Last week we pitted our Best Actress contenders against one another in a sexy battle to the death — but what of the menfolk? This year’s Academy Awards offers an impressive list of Y-chromosome-enhanced thespians duking it out for a Shiny Gold Dude to place on their mantle, including two veterans of last year’s award ceremony. Will Jeff Bridges get the two-peat? Will Colin Firth be v-v-v-vindicated for last year’s loss? Or will one of our young Turks pull off an upset? Let’s brush the green leafy substance off our scales (it’s oregano, I swear!) and weigh the pros and cons.



Pro: Sure, Colin Firth’s a great actor. But if Oscars were handed out for talent alone he’d have taken last year’s trophy for his performance in A Single Man.  However this year Firth has the ace up his sleeve with The King’s Speech: Namely, a disability.  If there’s one thing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences loves more than hookers, cocaine and Scientology, it’s gimps.  Just look at the handi-capable characters stepping off the Best Actor short bus: We have an autistic Dustin Hoffman (Rainman), a palsied Daniel Day Lewis (My Left Foot), a sight-tarded Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman), simple-minded Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump), and nuttier-than-a-bagful-of-squirrels Geoffrey Rush (Shine). Seriously, is thi the Academy Awards or the Special Olympics?

Con: Other than that he’s almost too obvious a choice, I don’t really see a chink in the King’s armor.


Pro: In the last few years James Franco has done a lot to step out of Spider-man’s shadow and establish a reputation as an actor to be taken seriously. He’s shown range (flexing his dramatic chops in Milk and comedic muscle in Pineapple Express), brains (Franco’s currently a PhD candidate at Yale) and quirk (i.e his PoMo ironic stint on “General Hospital”). But 127 Hours was Franco’s acting tour de force. His performance as a hapless hiker trapped in a gorge was so engaging that one forgets that this film was essentially one character and one location. If there’s anyone who can deny Firth’s King his Oscar c-c-crown it’s Franco.

Con: Franco’s performance was impressive but Franc-ly, I don’t think he went far enough.  If he really wanted that Oscar he would’ve gone full-on method and chopped off his own arm. What’s a limb compared to the ultimate show of respect from your peers? De Niro in his prime would’ve done it. And Brando would’ve chopped off not just an arm but a leg too, regardless of whether or not the character was missing any limbs.



Pro: While the Oscar buzz favors Firth and Franco, there are still more than two dogs in this fight. We should not overlook Jesse Eisenberg who, with The Social Network, finally proved to the world that he’s not just Michael Cera in a Jewish mask.

Con: The biggest strike against Jesse Eisenberg has nothing to do with performance, but rather with the character he portrayed. Mark Zuckerberg – in real life and in The Social Network – is a backstabbing borderline sociopath who’s made billions shilling our personal information to the highest bidder. It’s the Academy Award for Best Actor, not biggest douchebag.



How was Bardem’s performance in Biutiful? How am I supposed to know? It wasn’t in English! He could’ve been saying anything for all I know. He could’ve been reading his grocery list, reciting dirty limericks, or just making up nonsense words. Are we really supposed to give the Oscar to a guy who’s essentially babbling? And hey, dude… where’s the bowl cut?


Don’t get me wrong, I love The Dude, but Jeff Bridges already took home the Shiny Gold Dude for Best Actor just last year and there’s no way in hell anyone’s giving him an Oscar for playing the same character as the one for which John Wayne won his Shiny Naked Fella. Do you want to be haunted by the Duke’s ghost, commie? Didn’t think so.

ADVANTAGE: Colin Firth.  G-g-g-give that m-m-man a-n-n-n Oscar!

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Road To The Oscars: Best Actress Showdown Fri, 04 Feb 2011 00:33:23 +0000 Ronnie Pudding This week we throw our Best Actress contenders into the Thunderdome, arm then with cudgels and see who among them has the fortitude to grab blood-smeared victory.

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This week we throw our Best Actress contenders into the Thunderdome, arm then with cudgels and see who among them has the fortitude to grab blood-smeared victory.  Of course I meant metaphorically, but am I the only one sporting chub right now? And speaking of boners, were this category decided by the turgidity of my cervix-hammer alone it would be a “hard” choice to make.  Because unlike some of last year’s nominees (*cough* Gabourey Sibide), our 2011 contenders, oiled-up and bikini clad, would make for a fine Maxim spread.  You’ve got Grade-A Kosher Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and her bodacious bod, barely legal babe Jennifer Lawrence, MILFerific Nicole Kidman, and rounding things out in the cougar category, Annette Bening. Though my loins love them equally, on Oscar night there can be only one winner.



Pro: Hype is certainly on her side, and not undeservedly. As I stated in last week’s column, Black Swan was the performance of Natalie Portman’s career… although frankly, that ain’t saying a lot. Yeah, she’s nice to look at, but her previous actressing turns have run the gamut from “decent for a movie-of-the-week” to outright embarrassing. I have no idea how she managed to become leading lady du jour for many of today’s “serious” directors (at least when Scarlett Johansson wasn’t available); she acts about as well as ScarJo sings. However with Black Swan, Portman finally earned some credibility and proved that she’s ready to be taken seriously.

Con: She’s pregnant, and no one is more loathed than a pregnant woman. Men hate them because they’ve been tainted by another man’s seed. Women hate them because of jealousy and because they wish they could have babies too. Also: If she wins, there’s the risk that she’ll laugh again like at the Golden Globes. I’d rather hear the death rattle of my own child than that hideous cackle.


Pro: The other half of our Sapphic showdown. In The Kids Are All Right, Bening took a decidedly more realistic approach in her portrayal of a lesbian character, looking like someone you’d actually see at an Indigo Girls concert (whereas Portman’s bi-curious ballerina was the sort of lesbian that exists only in my Jergen’s fueled three-way fantasies). Bening is a seasoned veteran and an excellent lesbian thespian. In the scene where her character discovers her partner’s infidelity, Bening showed more range with subtle facial expressions than Portman has shown with an entire career of overacting.

Con: The Kids Are All Right’s strength was its ensemble cast, and to give an award to Bening and not Julianne Moore (who didn’t even get nominated) or Mark Ruffalo (who’s a long shot going up against Batman Bateman) would be a slight to her co-stars. Also: I know it was what you were going for, Annette, but couldn’t you have prettied it up just a little? At first I thought I was watching a Chuck Klosterman biopic.



Pro: Underrated, underutilized, underappreciated… these words apply not just to Michelle Williams’ breasts but to Williams herself.  She’s an incredibly talented young woman who’s capable of showing her prodigious skills without getting all up in your face with it (like Portman).

Con: People often confuse her with Brian Williams. And for all the controversy, the sex scene that earned Blue Valentine its NC-17 rating was about as hot as scrambled Skinemax softcore. My penis was not pleased.


Pro: This Oscar veteran already has a shiny gold dude on her mantle. The Academy knows she can handle Oscar glory.

Con: Unfortunately, Kidman’s actressing has been seriously hampered by the large amounts of Botox that have virtually eliminated her facial expressions. In The Rabbit Hole she looks like she’s wearing a Nicole Kidman Halloween mask. Also: No one saw Rabbit Hole.


Pro: The Academy does love their ingénues. Think Anna Paquin, Tatum O’Neil, Jean Benet Ramsey… they’re like dancing monkeys. Dance little monkey!

Con: Hailee Steinfeld is already a lock for the Junior Achievers category.  And Steinfeld is only 14; which means that at age 20 Jennifer is practically over-the-hill. But the good is she’s bang-legal. In your face, Chris Hansen!

ADVANTAGE: Natalie Portman

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10 Truthful Oscar Nominee Reactions Tue, 25 Jan 2011 19:51:40 +0000 Jame Gumb This isn't the Golden Globes, people. This is the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the real deal). But just because the awards are real doesn't mean the reactions from the nominees will be. That's why we've spent all morning running said reactions through our patented B.S. translator.

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This isn’t the Golden Globes, people. This is the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the real deal). But just because the awards are real doesn’t mean the reactions from the nominees will be. That’s why we’ve spent all morning running said reactions through our patented B.S. translator in order to determine what the nominees are really saying. So, without further ado, I give you 10 truthful Oscar nominee reactions.

“I’m pregnant, so hand over the god damn statue.”
-Natalie Portman, Black Swan

“They say write what you know, so I wrote about lesbians.”
-Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are Alright

“Piss off, you bloody Yanks. You’re a bunch or right f*cking wankers, you is!”
-Christopher Nolan, Inception

“Now I can finally admit that I Heart Huckabees was a pretentious piece of shit. I feel so much better now that I’ve got that off my chest. Sorry again, Lily.”
-David O. Russell, The Fighter

“Oh great! I can’t wait to dress up like an asshole, again!”
-Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech

“We don’t want or need any more of these statues. Give our spot to Nolan, or something.”
-Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

“It doesn’t seem fair that I should get an Oscar Nomination before I get my period, but them’s the breaks, bitches!”
-Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

“I’d like to thank Michael Cera for getting on everybody’s nerves and allowing me the opportunity to slip in under the radar.”
-Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

“Oh, good for meeeeeeee! That joke just won’t go away, will it?”
-Christian Bale, The Fighter

“There are two films featuring lesbians up for Best Picture. So, when the academy goes to vote, they have to ask themselves a simple question: Would they rather watch Julianne Moore going down on an elderly Annette Bening, or me going down on pre-preggers Natalie Portman? When put in those terms, the choice is simple.”
-Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

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The Biggest Oscar Disses Tue, 25 Jan 2011 18:14:44 +0000 Col. Longshanks The 2011 Academy Award nominations have been announced, and while I agree with most of the choices, I can’t help but notice a few talented individuals seem to have gotten snubbed.

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2011 Oscar Noms Are Here! Tue, 25 Jan 2011 13:08:24 +0000 Wookie Johnson It's really just a thrill to be nominated. Unless you're M. Night Shyamalan. Then it's a miracle.

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All of Hollywood woke up early today to find out the nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards. Except for M. Night Shyamalan. He’s going to sleep in. And then eat some waffles that he later discovers are ghosts.

Without further ado, here are the nominees that will have to struggle to keep eye contact with co-host Anne Hathaway.

Best Picture

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’


‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, ‘Black Swan’

David O’Russell, ‘The Fighter’

Tom Hooper, ‘The King’s Speech’

David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’

Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘True Grit’

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, ‘Biutiful’

Jeff Bridges, ‘True Grit’

Jesse Eisenberg, ‘The Social Network’

Colin Firth, ‘The King’s Speech’

James Franco, ‘127 Hours’

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’

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter’

John Hawkes, ‘Winter’s Bone’

Jeremy Renner, ‘The Town’

Mark Ruffalo, ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Geoffrey Rush, ‘The King’s Speech’

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’


Matthew Libatique,’Black Swan

Wally Pfister, ‘Inception’

Danny Cohen, ‘The King’s Speech’

Jeff Cronenweth,’The Social Network

Roger Deakins,’True Grit

Best Animated Feature Film

‘How to Train Your Dragon’


‘Toy Story 3′

Best Foreign Film

Mexico – ‘Biutiful’

Greece – ‘Dogtooth’

Denmark – ‘In a Better World’

Canada – ‘Incendies’

Algeria – ‘Outside the law’

Best Original Screenplay

‘Another Year’

‘The Fighter’


‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

Best Adapted Screenplay

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Art Direction

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I’


‘The King’s Speech’

‘True Grit’

Best Costume Design

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘I Am Love’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘The Tempest’

‘True Grit’

Best Original Score

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ John Powell

‘Inception’ Hans Zimmer

‘The King’s Speech’ Alexandre Desplat

‘127 Hours’ A.R. Rahman

‘The Social Network’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Documentary

‘Exit through the Gift Shop’ Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz

‘Gasland’ Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

‘Inside Job’ Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

‘Restrepo’ Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

‘Waste Land’ Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Best Film Editing

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’

‘The Kings Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

Best Makeup

‘Barney’s Version’

‘The Way Back’

‘The Wolfman’

Best Sound Editing


‘Toy Story 3′

‘TRON: Legacy’

‘True Grit’


Best Sound Mixing


‘The King’s Speech’


‘The Social Network’

‘True Grit’

Animated Short Film

“Day & Night”

“The Gruffalo”

“Let’s Pollute”

“The Lost Thing”

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Jouney Diary)”

Live Action Short Film

“The Confession”

“The Crush”

“God of Love”

“Na Wewe”

“Wish 143″

Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″



Iron Man 2

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Road To The Oscars: ‘The King’s Speech’ Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:27:05 +0000 Ronnie Pudding In this week’s column we’ll take a look at the Oscar prospects of T-t-he K-k-k-ing’s S-p-p-peech. And now that I’ve gotten that easy gag out of the way let us get down to brass tacks.

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In this week’s column we’ll take a look at the Oscar prospects of T-t-he K-k-k-ing’s S-p-p-peech. And now that I’ve gotten that easy gag out of the way let us get down to brass tacks. On the surface, The King’s Speech seems to have it all: It’s a Weinstein-produced critical favorite, a period drama starring British Commonwealth actors, a smash hit on the art house circuit (carrying the highest per screen average of 2010) concerning one man’s struggle to overcome a disability in order to achieve greatness — and it even has anti-Nazi subtext.  All of this makes The King’s Speech a shoe-in to sweep the Oscars… in the year 1993. But unfortunately we’re on the other side of the Y2K Virus. “Twin Peaks” is off the air and The Spin Doctors are no longer touching the hearts and minds of a generation with anthems like “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” Will Academy members give in to nostalgia and cast their votes for a film tailor-made for the Clinton years? Or will they favor decidedly more 21st century fare such as The Social Network?

Like previous Oscar winners Schindler’s List, A Beautiful Mind, and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The King’s Speech is based on true events. Specifically the struggle of King George VI to overcome his speech impediment in order to become a more effective figurehead of Britain’s archaic and mostly powerless monarchy.  The King is forced to enlist the help of an Australian speech therapist, here played by an actual Australian, Geoffrey Rush.  Rush of course is no stranger to the Academy’s night of razzle-dazzle, having taken the Best Actor shiny gold dude for his performance in Shine, in which he played a man struggling to overcome a disability in order to achieve greatness… sound familiar? If it were swathed in flannel, sporting a soul patch and carrying a dog-eared copy of On The Road under its arm, The King’s Speech couldn’t be more of the 1990s. And while this might work against it come Oscar time, it does serve to remind us of that there was once a time when films were made for adults, and when “independent film” meant more than just casting Michael Cera and slapping a hand-drawn font on the poster. Colin Firth’s performance as the titular tongue-tied sovereign is nuanced, human and undoubtedly Oscar-worthy. But then that’s why Hollywood leaves its dramatic heavy lifting to Brits; British actors tend to be classically trained professionals, whereas American actors tend to be narcissistic pretty kids with IQs low enough to eliminate other professional options and trust funds large enough to afford apartments in Hollywood. Especially after getting snubbed last year for his Oscar-deserving performance in A Single Man, I have little doubt that Firth will take this year’s gilded doorstop for Best Actor. But will The King… get the Best Picture crown? Let us consult the runes.

RETARD STRENGTH (5/5): Of all this year’s likely Oscar contenders, only The King’s Speech boasts a bonafide gimp.  Sure, Jessie Eisenberg’s character in The Social Network seemed to have a touch of the Asperger’s and 127 Hours’ protagonist, by cutting off his own arm, gained some self-inflicted retard strength.  But only George VI would’ve taken the short bus to school. More importantly, he overcomes his handicap in order to better himself. As far as the Academy’s concerned, its not enough to simply be a tard; otherwise Keanu Reeves would win Best Actor every year. The tard’s tardedness must serve as an obstacle (or “tardstacle”) which the tard conquers by film’s end, as is the case with Colin Firth’s mouth-tarded monarch.

SOCIAL RELEVANCE (4/5): While a film set 75 years ago concerning turn-of-the-LAST-century class divides and a royal family that’s since been relegated to tabloid fodder might not seem particularly relevant to movie goers circa 2011, there is a contemporary subtext to The King’s Speech that should not be ignored. King George VI was not working to overcome his speech impediment in order to pursue a voice over career, or to be a contestant on “Jeopardy,” or to give his mistress better phone sex; he was doing it be a more effective leader. We Americans would do well to remember, in these potentially-apocalyptic times, that a leader’s greatest strength is often his or her ability to speak clearly, succinctly and intelligently.  What we don’t need are more leaders who babble incoherent yokel-approved catch phrases using broken English and faux redneck accents. In other words, while you may not grasp all of our President’s fancy talk — what with them big words and stuff – there’s a reason he’s the goshdurn leader of the free world and not working the Stuckey’s night shift like you.

EPICOSITY (3/5):  Okay, The King’s Speech is not exactly epic.  It is well shot and directed, but does carry some of the same cinematic flatness as the Merchant Ivory powdered wig dramas of ye olde. However Alexandre Desplat fancies things up a notch with an excellent orchestral score reminiscent of the work he did for 2006′s similarly royal The Queen. In fact it won’t surprise me if Desplat winds up beating out Trent Reznor‘s bleeps and bloops for Best Original Score.

UPLIFT (5/5):  Not only does King George VI conquer his stutter and give a speech that rallies his subjects against an evil tyrant with a Michael Jordan mustache (and if cinema has taught us anything, it’s that Nazis = bad), he’s able to befriend a lowly Australian whom he views as, if not an equal, then at least a human.  Which is more than could be said of me with regard to Australians.

BONUS POINTS (1): BRITISHNESS : Hallo Gubna! Like a middle-aged bachelorette who owns too many cats and reads too many Jane Austen novels, there are few things Academy voters find more irresistible than English accents. I have to give The King’s Speech an extra point just for its sheer Britishness. It’s like a bag of crips with bad teeth, it’s so British.

TOTAL POWER RANKING (4.5/5):  Based on my power rankings alone, The King’s Speech is a good bet for Best Picture. However zeitgeist does not always defer to objective reason. I’m not sure the strengths of The King’s Speech will be able to trump The Social Network’s hype, and we do live in an age where hype is everything. As good a film as it was, The King’s Speech seems more like a relic from another time.

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Road To The Oscars: ‘Inception’ Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:18:27 +0000 Ronnie Pudding Inception was easily one of the most talked about movies of 2010, thanks to its mind-bending visual effects and an ending that left many viewers scratching their heads like a scabies-afflicted hobo with a flea nest in his dreadlocks.

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Inception was easily one of the most talked about movies of 2010, thanks to its mind-bending visual effects and an ending that left many viewers scratching their heads like a scabies-afflicted hobo with a flea nest in his dreadlocks.  However if Oscar winners were decided by water cooler chatter alone, Two Girls, One Cup would’v taken home Best Picture of 2007 (and frankly it’s a crime that it didn’t).  So this week we’ll be rolling up our sleeves – hoping no one takes notice of our track marks – and sorting out Inception’s Oscar chances using good ol’ fashioned objective analysis (meaning my half-assed, ill-formed opinions).

If Christopher Nolan’s goal was merely to get Oscar nominations, there are certainly worse casting choices than Leonardo DiCaprio.  Ever since the baby-faced actor drove James Cameron’s billion dollar behemoth Titanic into the Oscar iceberg there have been a plethora of noms for nearly every film he’s done, including Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and Blood Diamond. Personally I don’t get the appeal.  While I enjoyed his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (a film possessing off-the-charts retard strength) and can admit he was certainly lovely in his younger years, these days Leo’s looking like an alcohol-bloated manfant (half man, half infant) and his performances are stiffer than my bathing suit area when the new issue of Tiger Beat arrives.  Be that as it may, audiences seem to love him and even though his acting in Inception was — as usual — less than riveting, he does lend the film an air of credibility that would’ve been sorely lacking had Nolan cast, say… Shia LaBarf.

However even as a fan of the film, I must admit that time has not been kind to Inception.  A recent Blu-ray viewing was like finding an old videotape of myself having sex: Everything that seemed sexy and innovative at the time now borders on embarrassing (and illegal).  Now that the hype cloud has cleared and the DVD screeners have arrived, I believe Academy voters will likewise see Inception for what it is: A slick, well-directed but ultimately flawed genre film.

Part of the problem is the ambitious nature of Inception. Here Nolan has created his own world, with an encyclopedia’s worth of rules to go along with it. But so much of the film is bogged down by trying to establish these oft confusing and occasionally nonsensical rules that it plays like an overly expositional videogame cut-scene with the audience left to pine in vain for an X button to mash so they can skip ahead to the zero-gravity fight scene. This is especially apparent on repeat viewings. Once you know the rules, a good chunk of the film is pointless.  Further, while the world Nolan created initially seems brilliant, once you start paying attention it unravel faster than a shirt bought from Urban Outfitters. It’s as if Nolan is a power mad Dungeon Master in a game of Advanced Dungeon & Dragons, making up the quest as he goes along regardless of whether or not it makes any sense (and yes, as that Dungeons & Dragons metaphor indicates, I was a virgin until my late twenties). Sure these rules serve the film, but the logic behind them is tenuous at best.

“Five minutes of real time equals an hour of dream time.” Really?  Why? Because that way we can do a bunch of cool over-cranked slo-mo shots, that’s why. “The mind automatically fills a vault with information it wants to protect.” How interesting, Sigmund Freud… why is that? Because that way we can break into a bunch of cool ice fortresses and shit. “True inspiration’s impossible to fake.” It is? How odd… is there some sort of reason for that? Yeah, because otherwise we WOULDN’T HAVE A FUCKIN’ MOVIE, WOULD WE?

Truth be told, Inception is just a metaphysical heist flick, like Ocean’s 11 as written by Carl Jung and directed by The Wachowski brother sister siblings. It’s visually amazing, but doesn’t have much to offer in the way of substance — and Academy voters do love their substance (almost as much as they love their substances). In fact Inception scores so low in our Best Picture tracking categories that it’s pointless to even rank them. It isn’t uplifting or socially relevant and there aren’t any retardeds to be found.  However Inception’s greatest strength lies in an as-of-yet unranked category, namely…

DICAPRIOSITY (5/5): It would behoove us to not consider Inception’s Oscar chances based on the presence of Leo alone.  True, his back catalog includes only two actual Best Picture winners (namely Titanic and The Departed) but the fact that DiCaprio films have scored so many award season nods should not be ignored. There’s a reason Oscar-hungry Martin Scorsese made DiCaprio his latest go-to leading man and it’s not because he’s as good an actor as Robert DeNiro.

EPICOSITY (5/5): Say what you will about the plot, Inception’s sure got a pretty mouth. It makes sweet love to your eyeballs and explodes creamy Technicolor all over your brain.  It’s a visual orgasm of digital effects, vast seaside landscapes, crumbling dream cities and more slow motion than a Rocco Siffredi money shot highlight reel. Even the color correction is brilliant; did you notice all the dream levels had their own color palate? I bet Michael Bay slapped a hooker to death in a jealous rage after watching Inception, then tore off in his Murcielago blasting Use Your Illusion 2 all the way home where he cried into his dream pillow until drifting off to sleep.

TOTAL POWER RANKING (2): With ten slots to fill, it won’t be a surprise if Inception gets a sympathy nomination, but it’s a long shot to take Best Picture. Inception seems more suited to win Best Director.  After Dark Knight’s Oscar snub, I’m sure Christopher Nolan will take what he can get.

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Road To The Oscars: ‘The Social Network’ Thu, 06 Jan 2011 21:51:22 +0000 Ronnie Pudding Hello, Junkies! Ronnie Pudding here, once again participating in the state parole board’s work release program by taking a look at the front runners for the 83rd Academy Awards and writing about it on the internet.

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Hello, Junkies!  Ronnie Pudding here, once again participating in the state parole board’s work release program by taking a look at the front runners for the 83rd Academy Awards and writing about it on the internet.  Hard to believe 2010’s already been tossed in the dumpster like a dirty syringe but there it is, festering with HIV and broken dreams.  Or maybe that’s an actual dirty syringe; after all, Ronnie’s writing this from the dumpster behind Starbucks of Toluca Lake (not the worst dumpster I’ve spent the night in and hey, free WiFi). Seems like just yesterday I was comparing the Oscar prospects of films like Avatar, Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker. Of course that could be due to the fact that I spent the last eleven months in a paint-huffing-induced coma. Or perhaps because the resulting brain damage gave me the short term memory recall of Guy Pearce’s character in Memento. Or maybe it’s because… what was I writing about again? And what’s that tattoo on my scrotum? Oh yeah… the Oscars.

Unlike last year, there’s no one film gobbling up media attention like a paternal-love-deprived stripper at a daddy convention. And that’s probably a good thing. Because while it went on to become the highest grossing movie of all time, 2009’s Avatar has aged about as well as Maria Conchita Alonzo in a pair of Z Cavaricci pants. Luckily, there are a number of actual good films in contention for this year’s Best Picture shiny gold dude. Films such as The King’s Speech, Inception, 127 Hours Black Swan True Grit, Amputee Sluts 5 (a solid improvement over the franchise’s 4th installment) and the subject of this week’s article, The Social Network.

I was admittedly skeptical when I heard the news that a Facebook movie was in the works.  After all, the Friendster movie had spiraled into obscurity as quickly as it rose to prominence and the MySpace movie turned out to be nothing more than a garish display of tasteless narcissism, shameless self-promotion and sparkly unicorn GIFs. However my initial misgivings were put to rest when I actually saw the film. While David Fincher’s probably most known for his visual flourishes – and for a film taking place mostly in dorm rooms and board rooms here and there are plenty – his best work can be found in his loving handling of mentally deranged misanthropes such as Fight Club’s schizophrenic protagonist, the serial killers from Se7en and Zodiac and now perhaps the most misanthropic of them all, Facebook creator and Mark Zuckerberg. The slick editing capture the spirit of the internet age, zipping from scene to scene like someone scrolling through a lady friend’s Facebook gallery hoping for a drunken panty flash or nipple shot. But what really stood out was Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue, which comprised a litany of instantly quotable lines rattled off at a machine gun clip not unlike a smarter version of Tarantino’s coked-up motor-mouthisms. For a film populated almost entirely by privileged Ivy League douchebags, The Social Network was utterly engaging.

But was it an Oscar winner? Let’s see where it stands in the in the major categories that drive the Academy’s voting.

RETARD STRENGTH (2.5/5): While Jesse Eisenberg had previously made a career of being the discount Michael Cera, with his portrayal of Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg, he finally stepped out of George-Michael’s shadow and into his own spotlight. His Zuckerberg was deliciously complex; too villainous to be an anti-hero, too pathetic to be an actual villain.  He was misanthropic, misogynistic, sociopathic, and perhaps a bit Aspberger’s afflicted. But unfortunately, a flawed character does not a retard make.  As I explained last year: If you qualify for the Special Olympics, you’re retarded enough for an Oscar — so long as you adhere to the “full retard” rule posited in Tropic Thunder. But while Zuckerberg’s personality flaws made him a more interesting character, they did not provide obstacles for him to overcome on his journey (which culminated in him becoming a multi-billionaire). If anything, they helped. A lot.

SOCIAL RELEVANCE (4/5): While the Prius-driving, Mac-using, plastic-rimmed-glasses set will remind you that they abandoned Facebook for Twitter (or was it Tumblr) like a thousand-million years ago, no amount of hipster elitism can hide the fact that Facebook is a genuine social phenomenon. It has transcended the ephemeral nature of most “killer apps” and for the moment at least, seems to be a permanent addition to our cultural zeitgeist. Want proof? Ask your mom. Not only does she know what Facebook is, she’s actually on it — tagging you in embarrassing family photos and posting irony-oblivious comments under your snarky status updates. Eff yeah, Facebook’s relevant.

EPICOSITY (2/5): While The Social Network’s cinematography would make for an amazing episode of “Saved by the Bell,” it hardly contains the sort of epic grandiosity that leads to an easy Oscar win. This is not a knock on David Fincher or his cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth; The Social Network necessarily takes place in visually banal locales such as Ivy League dorms, generic office buildings and Palo Alto computer geek hovels. But while this certainly serves the film, if they were hoping to serve the tastes of Academy voters they should have the thrown in the occasional helicopter shot of the Grand Tetons, or a camel caravan crossing Saharan Tunisia.

UPLIFT (1/5): Are you a wealthy, silver-spoon-chewing douche-nozzle whose massive ego is only dwarfed by your gargantuan sense of entitlement? Do you have zero regard for personal relationships, viewing your friends as ultimately disposable stepping stones toward attaining the success that is your birthright? Well according to The Social Network, if you play your cards right, you might wind up being one of the wealthiest men in America before your 30th birthday.  This is probably pretty uplifting to the handful of you reading this from your Phillips-Exeter dorm rooms as you arbitrarily select which nannies you’ll frame for stealing the family silver over sprin break. But for the rest of us – we actual humans with actual souls — it only serves as a grim reminder that success is all too often built on the knife-adorned backs of those foolish enough to trust their fellow man.

TOTAL POWER RANKING (2.375/5): Is The Social Network a great film? Certainly. Given the degree to which social networking has inexplicably affected (and infected) our daily lives it is the most relevant film of the year – perhaps even the decade — and a best adapted screenplay trophy for Sorkin is virtually guaranteed.  But I don’t see it taking home a Best Picture Oscar on February 27th. Perhaps The Twitter Movie will be the internet film to finally pull that off.

Oh, and hey, don’t forget to “like” this article on Facebook! LOL! Fart.

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James Franco & Anne Hathaway To Host/Banter On 83rd Oscars Mon, 29 Nov 2010 19:06:36 +0000 Col. Longshanks Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been set to host/read Bruce Vilanch jokes on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.

The post James Franco & Anne Hathaway To Host/Banter On 83rd Oscars appeared first on Screen Junkies.


Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been set to host/read Bruce Vilanch jokes on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced, “James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27.” And hopefully young folks will tune in now that we snagged a couple of cool hotties!

Hmmmm, I’m not so sure about this choice. Franco and Hathaway are both talented actors, and as their “SNL” hosting gigs have proved they can do comedy, but do they have the showmanship to keep the world entertained on a 3 hour+ Oscar broadcast? Hugh Jackman might have to drop in halfway through and put on a FANTABULOUS musical number that reminds us all just how straight he is. Maybe they’ll do a gag where Franco’s arm gets caught in a banister the entire event and Hathaway has to host alone. Naked. Because after Love & Other Drugs she just feels more comfortable that way. (Deadline)

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