ENJOY THE SHOW
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Seize your glory! Now in theaters everywhere is 300: Rise of an Empire, the sequel/prequel/side-story to Zack Snyder's 300 based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, which raged on the big screen seven years ago in early 2007. While Leonidas isn't back, this time we follow Sullivan Stapleton as Themistokles, fighting off Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, played again by Rodrigo Santoro, and Artemisia, played by Eva Green. So how is this one? As good as the first one? Any better? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on 300: Rise of an Empire.
They come in all shapes and sizes, all over the world, hidden in cities and on mountains, next to rivers and airports. Hotels have been in movies forever, not only as a place to stay when needed, but occasionally as a character itself that influences and alters the story. In honor of the upcoming release of Grand Budapest Hotel, the latest film from Wes Anderson, the Museum of the Moving Image (aka MoMI) in Queens, New York is hosting a "Hotels on Film" screening series this weekend. My first thought when I heard about this series - I have to find out what they're showing! Which films? And have I seen all of them already? Read on.
I'm sure you everyone out there is shocked to know that as much as I love the Oscars (the results of which can be found here) and more or less everything that comes with it (including my paycheck, of course), the show itself is something that I think could stand to be improved in many ways. Yes, the Oscar telecast can more often than not leave something to be desired, regardless of who you are, even if everyone involved in the production of the show always has their hearts in the right place. Some years we have better shows than others, with the same going for the winners for that matter, but I can't ever remember watching the telecast and thinking that they absolutely nailed it, and I know I'm not alone in thinking this way.
The 86th Academy Awards are upon us and it's time to watch the show and announce the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony is being broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre with another returning, exuberant host - Ellen DeGeneres. Last year featured a vivid and memorable set of movies, from Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity to Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave to Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street to Spike Jonze's Her to David O. Russell's American Hustle to Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips as the key contenders, among many others. Who will win? Time to finally find out at the 2014 Oscars. The full list below will be updated with winners marked as they're announced live tonight - refresh for updates.
Read on for the complete list of 2014 Oscar nominees & winners. Let us know what you think of the results!
This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of editorial commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.
It's once again time for some Academy Advocacy ladies and gentlemen, and one of the final ones for the season! But rather than delivering the normal awards opinions and whatnot today, this one will be a little more personal as I'll be dictating what I think actually deserves to win in all of the major Oscar categories. I won't be limiting it to the official nominees either, so these picks will vary quite a bit from what voters are choosing this week. We all have our preferred candidates, and I'm no exception, so below you'll be seeing who and what I would have voted for, as opposed to the choices that Academy members made. In some cases, they're actual nominees, though in other cases, I've gone off the ballot. More below!
Pay attention to the Oscar nominees - Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is now/soon mandatory viewing in school. Despite reports that a low percentage of the mainstream public has seen most of the Best Picture Academy Award nominees, only one week out from the 86th Oscars this weekend, there is one that will get a boost no matter what. A report from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) says that they've partnered with "New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book, and study guide 12 Years a Slave to America's public high schools." Of course Solomon Northup's actual book is included, too. As it should be - considering this is based on a harrowing true story.
Now that we're a few months into 2014, it's time for our first reminder that later this year we'll be getting Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, which will likely feature yet another phenomenal performance from the it man, Matthew McConaughey. The actor, receiving acclaim and Oscar nominations for his work in Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street, Mud, Magic Mike even Killer Joe, spoke to Variety about his career comeback and recent highlights, and talked briefly about working on Nolan's Interstellar, his next science fiction project that was quietly filmed last year. It's the most ambitious thing he's ever done," he states.
Time to celebrate even more big wins for Gravity and 12 Years a Slave to follow up the Golden Globes. This weekend in London, the BAFTA (or British Academy of Film and Television Arts) held their annual show, the BAFTA Awards, honoring the finest in film and television from 2013. This year's set of winners focused mainly on three movies which took home most of the awards: Gravity winning Outstanding British Film (despite the obvious) plus Best Director, McQueen's 12 Years a Slave winning Best Film + Chiwetel for Best Actor (finally!), with American Hustle taking home a couple wins, too. Gravity also nabbed Best Score.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? We've got the future under control. We do? Now in theaters everywhere is the remake of yet another 1980's classic, RoboCop. This new take on RoboCop stars Joel Kinnaman as Detroit's Alex Murphy, directed by Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha (Elite Squad). The impressive cast includes: Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams and Samuel L. Jackson. So is it any good? Does it desecrate the original? Is it one big pointless remake, or not? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on the RoboCop remake.
As always, there are a number of films that deserve to break out from film festivals. I am returning this week from the Berlin Film Festival, aka Berlinale, in Germany where I caught 10 films in total (full list/recap here). While I enjoyed pretty much every last one, my friend Steve Weintraub (aka Frosty) from Collider and I decided to meet up and record a quick video blog, which we haven't done in a while, discussing four films in particular: Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, Jack O'Connell in Irish thriller '71, Eskil Vogt's Norwegian drama Blind and of course The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is a good one, so fire it up below and enjoy.
If you haven't seen the Best Picture nominated film Gravity by now, there's still a small chance you can catch it in a theater near you before the 86th Academy Awards air on March 2nd. But if you haven't seen the film yet, you'll want to steer clear of the rest of this story because it will has BIG SPOILERS for the ending of the film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Recently, director Alfonso Cuaron participated in an AMA on Reddit where he revealed an alternate ending to the film that sounds pretty dark and grizzly. But we think Cuaron could also be joking. Details on this odd alternate ending are found below!
The remake of RoboCop hit theaters last night, and while the film is a pointless remake of a great 80s film that makes no attempt to have any real weight or substance, it definitely hits the audience over the head with right-wing satire. Throughout the film, Samuel L. Jackson plays Pat Novak, an exaggerated take on Bill O'Reilly (or any intense political pundit really), who hosts a program called The Novak Element. On his show, Novak is constantly berating Americans for not letting OmniCorp's robots police the streets just as they doing in foreign countries with the military. But is that the only satire that lies within this remake?
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? The story of a nobody who saved everybody. In theaters everywhere is The LEGO Movie, an animated movie directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller ("Clone High", Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) based on the minifigs and plastic blocks that the entire world is familiar with. The story involves an ordinary minifig named Emmet, voiced by Chris Pratt, who joins a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the universe together. He teams up with Unikitty, Wyldstyle, Batman and many others. Once you've seen this, leave a comment with your thoughts on The LEGO Movie.
Hooray! A big congratulations to Emmanuel Lubezki, who just won the top honor at the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Lubezki won the award for his work on Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, which is picking up awards left and right including Best Director at the DGA Awards a few weeks ago (where the photo below is from). Lubezki was up against a tough set of five other nominees this year, including Sean Bobbitt of 12 Years a Slave, Bruno Delbonnel of the Coen Bros' Inside Llewyn Davis, Barry Ackroyd of Captain Phillips, Philippe Le Sourd of Kar Wai Wong's The Grandmaster and Phedon Papamichael of Alexander Payne's B&W film Nebraska. Read on for more 2014 winners details.